I found this from an old note of mine (more than 3 years ago), and felt it an interesting thing to post here. So far below is the original note and I didn’t make any change.
Let me become a social person. Let society change me.
There is no such a thing as a Chinese community in US. Those Chinese work in American companies and schools. They buy stuff from American stores. They participate in American economy. They need to abide by American laws. There are no Chinese music, movies… So there is no such thing as a Chinese community. They just have no community, no society. They still read Chinese news (news from China), watch Chinese movies, but that is from a society on the other side of the planet, in which they don’t participate at all. Without a community, without society, how can they establish themselves as human beings? To become a full human being, they have to participate fully in this American society, in the local community. When I was in China, participation in society greatly changed me. I grow from a person confined by family to a person of society, bearing social responsibility and participating actively in society. There are many people who didn’t finish this process and thus still confined by small family things. There are people who become socialized totally unconsciously and trapped in all the negative things of a culture. Even so, I still have to say, no matter how negative a culture or society is, we have to fully participate in it. That is the only way we can realize ourselves as social human being. At the same time, it is important to go beyond. Human beings are never just by themselves. Human beings are always under various circumstances. To be a full human being, I have to know and encounter those cirmstances. I cannot just be myself. (I focused too much on software these years, although it was well needed. Doing book reading for too long is really a bad thing.) Let me DO things. Let me encounter all those circumstances. Let me fully participate. (Actually software study is also full of circumstances. It is actually what it is about.) Instead of always complaining (which is symptom of bookworm), I should embrace the circumstances. Work with them. As I was sitting in the deep night, I suddenly realize that this night is exactly the same nights I have experienced when I was in China. No matter how different America is from China, the nights are exactly the same. We felt a lot of difference just because the culture put on a cover on it. Although with different covers, the things underneath the covers are the same. Yes, the nights are exactly the same. I have exactly the same feelings aroused by the quite noisy nights. Oversea Chinese are disguised by the difference of the covers and refuse to know more about this new cover in the fear of losing their culture identity. However, by refusing to know about this new cover, they also lose the most important thing, which is the night underneath the cover. They cannot feel the night again. Their feelings are lost. This is how I feel after coming to US. I lost all those strong feelings. They used to be so strong. I wonder how they can get lost. But after I went back China for a visit, those strong feelings come back to me again and I have to tell myself that those feelings are true. It might be relatively easy to enjoy the nights again. We might just need to get rid of anxiety, close our eyes and forget the different covers, listen to the sound, then it will take us back to those feelings. This is how I have felt in those naps. I always flew back to China in those naps. But to enjoy the human relations, to enjoy a culture, which nurture human’s feelings of sound, pictures… , is a lot more difficult. This is how I lost my creativity. To be a social person again, to be a fully-fledged human being again, is difficult. This is how I was again confined by many small things. I want to enjoy the nights again. I want to be creative again. I want to be socialized again. Then I will see those things underneath again: the nights, the beautiful scenery and the beautiful human being. I guess humanitarian is to care about the respectful human being under various conditions. I guess this is one of the things I learned the most from the west. As there is no enough concern in oversea Chinese to understand the conditions we are in, I hope to raise such concerns. It is a tragedy that so many people live in a foreign land as FOREIGNERS for their lives. If we think ourselves as humanitarians, we have to care about this.