Friday, September 18, 2015

Self Respect

Start from minute 2:00... let me know if this sounds some what familiar...

Having the face of humility is an old school Asian gag. Some do it because it has always been done. Others do it due to beliefs that overt pride will lead to destruction, some of us can remember this depiction in the movie The Good Earth when suddenly the parents having pride in their son suddenly repent of this pride and proclaim it was a girl and ugly.

Have Some Self Respect!

Here's my problem. Humility is great and all, but really, being humble and habitually self denigrating are two VERY different things.

It's fine to be humble; to not want to brag about achievements or success. It's an entirely different thing to curse one's self... I'm too ugly, I'm too fat, I'm too stupid, my cooking is awful, I'm no good at piano... to attempt to seem humble, to attempt to draw criticism to be followed by compliment... it's all farce!

Look. This may have worked in yesteryear's Asia. However, it does NOT work today. Trying to be self denigrating as an expression of humility is killing the confidence and personalities of our Millennial Asians.

I can't tell you how many, especially male, Millennial Asians struggle with self respect, confidence, and willingness to take initiative (for fear of making a mistake, they rather do nothing and dig their head into the sand). It's tragic!

My advice: Be straightforward. Be clear. Be HONEST.

If you mean yes, say Yes. If you mean no, say No. If something is excellent, call it that. If something needs improvement, say so. Don't hide behind ambiguity and metaphors; many Asian cultural contexts have enough implicit based misunderstandings as it is.

Millennial Asians need clarity!

And, they need self respect. To you Millennial Asians. Have it! Own it! It's yours and it is for no one else to influence, gauge, or tell you how you should feel about it. To those who have roles of mentoring, parenting, and.or teaching our Millennial Asians... please, respect them in the same regard that they require... NOT what you feel you should do; rather, what they need of you.

If we do not change and empower self respect among Millennial Asians, we will only get more of this pitifulness.

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