Writer: F. Tran
Many things had to happen. Many things had to be in the correct order. Many things had to work out to be where I am now. Luckily, I am blessed to live in a refulgent world filled with endless opportunities; however, the world I came from was filled with adversity, which shaped my personal experiences.
Hardships would not fully describe the extent of the world I came from; there is but one word missing. Born in the United States to Vietnamese immigrants, I am gratuitous that I have truly not experienced the true world behind me. The escape from the tyrannical Vietnam War sounded as if my parents were dauntless; however darker stories came to light as my parents narrated how they helped dump noisome bodies over a cramped boat. Moving forward, my parents held three full-time jobs. When I was about four years old, I stumbled half-asleep downstairs to my dad, who was calmly sipping on roasted coffee with no sign of effete; he was ready for another night of work.
Influenced by a religious Buddhist family, I never took things for granted. Over the summer, I volunteered at a Buddhist temple; a sign was posted during lunch that read “please take seconds, but please finish all of the food”. Symbolizing my parents’ resilience, the sign demanded that each blessing given should not be wasted. In sight of this, I am determined to utilize all the foundations laid in order to persevere in life.
That is the missing word: perseverance.