Help it be

“Speaking words of wisdom, let it be!”

This weekend, I was fortunate to find a bit of rest and staycation with the family and my wife for my birthday. Although some would consider my birthday a “milestone” one in terms of age, I am really not the type to arrange something with all the bells and whistles.

My wife surprised me with a birthday cake that if scanned via a smartphone, Spotify will play a song. And Mika chose the song Let It Be as a theme song for this birthday. Great choice! Haha!

During my formative years, I have been enamored with shonen hero stories like Dragon Ball Z, Japanese RPGs and the individualistic hero ball basketball of Michael Jordan. There is such appeal to feeling powerful enough, almost a messianic complex, to be a savior or one-man team. “Make it happen!” Maybe because as an awkward introverted boy in an all-boys grade school, I did not want to be perceived as weak nor useless by my peers. I also did not want to be someone who just “let things happen” passively.

But as I become more mature and carry more responsibilities as a professor, a ninong, as a man, I realize that it is important to “help things happen”. I got this insight during Dr. Hilary Bradbury’s discussion on action research for transformations, and this seemed to be a great theme as I claim to enter my prime.

Helping things happen demands that a person is self-aware and also others-aware, such that we can find synergies and harmonies. “Self-with-others”. This means I should lean into who I am based on the strengths and tendencies I have consistently demonstrated in my life, while also entangling myself with others to pursue our missions in career and life. This is more akin to Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, and Stephen Curry in basketball; Luffy (One Piece) in terms of manga and anime.

Maybe the invitation for me in the next stage of my life is to embrace authenticity in a technical and meaningful way; to honor who I was and help myself in becoming. In doing so, hopefully I will be able to authentically help those I love and those around me; flourishing together.

To end, I dare revise Paul McCartney’s beautiful lyric:

“Speaking words of wisdom, help it be!”

Luke 9:51-62. I will follow you


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