A New Focus for My Life

My dear Asian Co-Counselors in Australia,

I liked that our recent Asian Liberation Workshop was small in size, as I got to feel "at home." I could take all the time I needed to get comfortable and close with other people as opposed to "pretending to be close."

I'm good at looking "relaxed" or "friendly" while terrified inside. I used to do this on just about every "Western" social occasion. The workshop was a safe place for me to experiment with acting outside of this pattern and to confirm that it wasn't the end of the world. Thank you, my fellow Asian Co-Counselors, for being courageous and showing yourselves to me.

I came to this country as a young adult and looked for people to be close to. I learned to speak the "Anglos'" language and figured out what they think, feel, and do. I respected them and set up my life around that respect. I even figured out how to present myself so that they would get a chance to be close to me. Little of this was appreciated or reciprocated. (Reciprocity is highly valued in Asian culture.)

Now my focus is on how my life has been tremendous in its achievement. What a smart people we are! I look forward to knowing every one of you more deeply.

Rie Shiraishi
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Reprinted from the newsletter for people
of Asian heritage in Australia


Last modified: 2017-05-06 23:35:41-07