The Asian American Dilemna

Millenials,

If you’re not Asian, some of this stuff might not make sense. In that case, please see this as sharing from an Asian American perspective.

Asian-American millenials, maybe this will be stuff you’ve been feeling and hopefully can gain some language for.

I felt a little bit of this back in the Bay, but the notion I’m speaking about has been

magnified by about 100 (93.5 to be exact) percent throughout my time in Texas.

 

This thing I’m speaking of is the high tension, discomfort, and conflict of Asian-

American to Asian-American relations. Sometimes it’s the awkward lookaways that

I’ve experienced when walking the campus of Baylor. I’ll be walking with my friends

(Asian-American, white, or a mixture of both) and I’ll walk in the vicinity of another

Asian American with a similar co-demographic. The strangest thing occurs and the

other Asian American(s) divert their eyes away from nearly every time. Call me crazy,

but last time I checked looking away from people usually implies some sort of

increased alertness, usually of a threat or discomfort, and insecurity.

 

Other times I’ll meet other Asian Americans and the conversation usually becomes

very awkward as the dialogue, mostly by action of the person across from me, begins

to beat around the bush of expected similarities in experience and lifestyle. In other

words, they try to sound very white and Americanized and avoid any talk of

commonalities between our potentially similar Asian-American heritage.

So here’s my thing and also my reaction: da hell? It’s something I don’t quite

understand and, frankly, something I’m really frustrated at.

*Disclaimer: all this could be just a giant misperception, but hear me out. Maybe

there is some validity to this conversation.

So maybe this blog can be a post where we can have a conversation and rationalize

some of this junk.

My hunch, millenials, is that this is all just misplaced securities. It’s rare for majority

culture to understand what it means to be a minority and the life that comes with it.

The minority lifestyle contains discrimination, misconception, abnormality, and

discomfort. The good and the bad qualities of what the general public perceive us to

have are EXTREMELY magnified.

So in the spirit of this post, take Asian Americans for instance. Our good qualities of

being academically studious, submissive, and having excellent cuisine are all general

public pieces of knowledge. However these things are usually assumed and fuel

extreme misconceptions; we can call these “positive” stereotypes

Our perhaps “poor” qualities are that we are not capable of great leadership, are

nerdy/non-athletic, not as aesthetically beautiful as other races, cannot speak

English well, and dress “Asian”. These qualities too are usually assumed and fuel

extreme conceptions; these are classically known as “negative” stereotypes.

So in order to fight against these stereotypes what’s an Asian-American brotha or

sista supposed to do? You fight them, or at least keep them under wraps, like yo

damn life depended on it. You become extremely white and hide any cinch of Asian

stereotypes (good and bad) from the general public who, in Baylor’s case, are mostly

white. You mask your good/phenomenal grades, fall in love with classically American

accepted foods, dress freakin’ white, and only hang out with white people.

Maybe this is all stuff that I’m overthinking and misrepresenting; all I know is that

I’ve accepted myself: a Christian, Korean-American, a lover of people, passionate

about health, and a fanatic of food. None of me wants to hide any of these things.

Why? Because that’s who God created me to be. I’m going to live the life God gave

me. I will follow the Lord and allow culture to fit into His plan, not the other way

around. Of course I have broken theology (we all do damn it); so I don’t want to

pretend of come off like I know it all.

So I guess this was a bit of a rant and my heart thrown all into one blog post. Hope it

was enjoyable.

*drops mic

-Yung “DC” Dan

K(no)w Suffering, K(no)w God

Millenials,

We are a generation of self-proclaimed experts and full of a lot of talk. Seemingly we know it all and have sought to experience the many things life has to offer.

For my fellow business enthusiasts it seems like I have a seemingly well educated conversation about the nature of a startup and what it takes to be successful nearly every week; these same people seem to have a savvy for business without actually having started a profitable business-go figure.

For those of us that would call ourselves Christians it seems like I have a “good theological” discussion on the daily. But the funny thing about these folk is that their theology doesn’t seem to line up with their lives. Their theology seems to be bigger than their individual understandings of suffering and the lifestyle necessary to follow Christ.

Millenials we are so prone to pretending to know something when we really don’t-let’s not do so with following Christ.

Perhaps it looks like putting our heavy Wayne Grudem Systematic Theology books away and focusing on the most important thing at hand-the journey of following Jesus, by his grace.

A common theme I’ve noticed in people our age is the presence of really good theological conversation. Many of us who declare Christ know the Gospel and can talk endlessly about their ambitions for Christ. However, I think we are massively missing the point in our current conversations. Christ never called us to have good theological sufferings; he called us to come and die to ourselves-our flesh, entitlements, and especially our comforts.

In this nature of the choosing of our own death the eyes of our heart are opened to the grandiose plan of an eternity with Christ beyond this temporal life. Our eyes are revealed to the goodness of God in such a way that could only be induced by the sacrifice of fully giving away our current life in exchange for death which, in turn, actually brings us life through Jesus Christ himself.

Yet, when I meet many Christians of our day I find many who are not willing to knowingly give up their entire lives. There are a lot of “buts” to their faith.

“I’ll follow Jesus…but I have to get this job”

“I’ll follow Jesus…but I want to stay within my community of like-minded friends”

“I’ll follow Jesus…but I don’t want to be with people who look different from me”

The list goes on friends. It’s not a pretty message, but it’s one for anyone that has ears to listen. Know suffering in the form of dying to every portion of yourself and you will know God. No suffering conveyed through a retaining of oneself and life’s comfort and there will be no God.

 

 

Stop Seeing With Your Eyes

 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people…”

-Ephesians 1:18

In the time that Paul was writing the book of Ephesians, the heart was considered the cultural center of knowledge and understanding; unlike our culture which places the heart as the center of emotion. Paul likened the heart to the epicenter of where true logic took place.

When we see with just our eyes we mislead ourselves to live in a temporal reality that, at any moment, can be altered and changed. The reality our eyes see is subjective, chaotic, and volatile. Yet, when we see with our heart, we are awakened to a reality that is unchanging, faithful, and diligent. This reality is the realm of the Gospel and the nature of Jesus. When we seek to see with the eyes of our heart, we seek to also see situations as God would see them: full of understanding, grace, and knowledge; you might even consider this as a call to objectivity.

At the same time Paul adds that seeing with our hearts includes seeing the unseen. When we enter a relationship with Christ everything changes. While before Christ all we could see was the subjective reality courtesy of our eyes; after Christ we are given the ability to see with our heart and ultimately live in the revelation of the mercy of Christ and the future and hope we have in living in eternity with our heavenly Father.

I think this is the relevant point for many of us. The temptation lies in seeing with just our eyes because it’s easy and convenient to glimpse through a lense that shows us what we want to see; this view lends itself to our ultimate selfishness, jadedness, and deceit. The day to day becomes all about our emotions and seeing others as we would see them rather than as children of the most high God. We lose understanding and grace for ourselves and others as our emotions take us captive. We lose the capacity for godly knowledge and a holiness that goes beyond our physical understanding.

Friends, this is why Paul calls us as believers to see with our hearts. As we see with our hearts we begin to see ourselves and others with the eyes of God. Understanding of ourselves and others occurs because we begin to release our own selfish values and exchange them for the beautiful sacraments of higher grace and mercy.

Here is the big ask fellow millenials: will we choose to see with our hearts this very day? Will we choose to see ourselves and others with a view of higher grace and mercy regardless of the actions that take place?

Jesus open the eyes of our hearts Lord.

Open the eyes of our hearts. We want to see you

High and lifted up, shining in the light of your glory

Pour out your power and love

as we sing holy, holy, holy.

Maranatha