Text Box:
Reflecting on the Year Before

by Ed H. Chi

December 21, 2000
A Taoist saying is “The only thing that stays constant is change.”  Just when you think you’ve absorbed such a large amount of information and knowledge, then more change seems to be right around the corner, in the store for you.  One must wonder, how does a person remain sane, yet brace for change, and remain Calm?  How does one defend one’s ego when faced with adversity, and remain undistracted when faced with fortune?

Text Box: Many things in life are all distractions.  Everything and everyone move so fast these days, it is easy to forget the things that really matter to us, like family, the sun, the wind, the snow, the blue sky, and the rain.  We forget to slow down to smell the flowers, to enjoy the sunset, just as we are likely to forget family and friends when life’s pace passes us by.  It is only when we’re faced with difficulties, we realize the importance of our closest friends.  It is only when we’re fully aware of our venerability, we seek help from our family.  And moments of love inspire us to seek more love and more intimacy.  Why do we wait for these moments to occur to open our hearts and embrace another?

Text Box: Sometimes, it would seem that with the more that we learn over time, we might think that things will become easier, when the exact opposite seems to be true.  One way to respond to life is to retreat into one’s shell of protection; another way is to turn and face the world head-on, perhaps with tears in eye.  In either case, one must develop the capability to be independent.  To exist for no one but yourself.  However, in that process, we face loneliness.  To stand alone, and to be the only one responsible for your action seems like an insurmountable task, like climbing Mount McKinley. Singing alone is never easy.

Text Box: Yet it’s just part of the process.  Because to become enlightened and to have happiness, we must lay the foundation for the “self.”  Indeed, it is not what we know, but it’s how we choose to respond to what we know that defines our character.  Doing the right thing is never easy.  Remaining strong when faced with adversity is one of life’s most difficult challenges.  Remaining undistracted when faced with fortune is one of the other most difficult challenges.

Text Box: It is only after this process, we’re ready to face the real world, and to embrace another friend, and to explain ourselves.  There is so much that goes on inside one’s mind, and it would always seem so complicated to explain to another.  Rather than telling you of the specific events of this year (my two European trips, Tae Kwon Do, Interns, Brook’s Wedding, Photography, and me in Time magazine), I’ve chosen this method in replacement of a Christmas letter.  This is so that I can share with you what I’ve learned.  Happy New Year, peace around the world, and may your life be filled with happiness.