More Thoughts

August 22, 2010

a believer indeed
should never be
a believer in need,
but one we see
as believing in deed.

At what point does the marginal return of extra income diminish?
At what point can we create change and not merely count it?
At death, we are remembered for the good we have accomplished,
For some difference we have made that is cajoled in our obit.
Do we need the disposable income that we squander?
Now is the time to give our wealth a second ponder.


A Whole And Not A Sum

March 19, 2010

In identifying myself as Asian American,
I am compartmentalizing myself under one convenient label.
I am techie, piano-playing, yellow peril–
A whole and not a sum.

What happens when this myth falls through?
Perceived as a math whiz, treated as a threat?
The industrious skewer of the grading curve?
The model minority scorned for perfection,
Alienated and bullied as a whole, and not a sum.
Yanked by pigtails, as the job market sours,
The coolie who stole the job for hire.
I am the low-cost, high-efficiency perpetual foreigner.

In my lifetime, I have actively fought against stereotypes,
Wanting to assimilate, to acculturate.
It seems that the harder I try, the luckier I get.
I am a lover of the arts and speak perfect English,
Been told I write like I’ve studied English forever,
Been told I am hiding my accent, only to my delight.
My genetics cannot lie: I am Asian.
A whole and not a sum.

What would happen if ethnic studies were taught by Whites,
If Asians dominated the NFL,
And minorities became the majority?
Stereotypes will crumble,
But discrimination will reassemble
And the tug-of-war ensues.
Is there comfort in knowing we are different,
No matter how hard we try, how lucky we get,
We are different only by 0.1%.

What is the truth when a lie is unmistakable?
The 0.1% is too trivial to detect a lie.
Am I a label, with value stored?
Are you another price tag for comparison?
Or are we all of fair value, 99.9% square?
Will we put our futures up for sale,
0.1% discount?
Who will buy it?
Why should we care?