The Year of the Sheep is for imagination. Just look at celebrities born in sheep years: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Will Ferrell and others, how they create from nothing to something amazing. It’s time for you to make your Lunar New Year dream list.
The sheep celebrities have certainly inspired me to build my wish list. Instead of a list of 10,
I will only list eight, since eight is lucky number in many Asian countries. But if I can get some of my wishes, I will be as happy as a sheep.
Here you go:
1. Fresh Off the Boat unbeaten
“Fresh Off the Boat,” a pilot television series about an Asian American family on ABC prime time, drew over 9 million viewers in its first two episodes, since its debut three weeks ago. It’s about time we have our own show!!!
The last Asian American television show was two decades ago, featuring Margaret Cho in “The All American Girl,” which ended after 20 episodes.
My son taped the show to make sure his mom watches it dutifully every week. What it means is that young Asian Americans support it. They want to see their own faces and not just the white characters, white values, and white cultures. It also indicates America is curious about Asian Americans, likes the idea of having such a program, and is ready to watch more. We can’t rely on only Asians to watch the show. To make it successful, we need non-Asians to cheer it on as well. The show’s premiere episodes point to it receiving acclaim from all audiences.
Sure, it stereotypes Asian Americans. Some critics said it wasn’t that funny. Still, I saw myself in the story—how at times, I raised my sons with an iron fist–forcing them to go to Chinese classes on Saturday when they protested. They understood that getting a bad grade would be the end of the world.
I was delighted to watch Asian Americans not being portrayed as sidekicks or second-lead characters, but rather, being the main stars. They were telling our stories, examining struggles, and making sacrifices when living in a new country.
I sincerely hope the show triumphs and lasts for a long, long time. This will encourage Asian Americans, young and old, to think seriously about going into the entertainment industry. Hopefully, this project would also lead to other Asian American characters and movies popping up in Hollywood, giving our community more opportunities.
So readers, watch it every Tuesday on ABC at 8 p.m. Parents, inspire your kids to follow their passion. Not everyone can be a computer expert, doctor, or engineer. Your kids’ possibilities are endless.
2. Ana Mari Cauce as UW president
University of Washington President Michael Young has announced that he will be leaving for the position of Texas A&M president in June.
“What do you think are Young’s contributions?” I asked some UW alumni.
“He has raised a lot of money,” they replied. When I asked the same question for Young’s predecessor Mark Emmert, who left UW in 2010, several could instantly articulate what Emmert did for the Asian community and UW. Emmert had a stellar performance in fund-raising for UW too. I have not met someone who felt sorry that Young is leaving.
Yes, he quits simply because the other school pays him more. Need I say more!?
It could be that Young never felt he belonged here. He doesn’t really open himself up much to others. UW Regents picked him through a national search, which was time-consuming, costly, and a minor return for us.
However, Young did make one significant contribution—the appointment of Provost Ana Mari Cauce, a woman and person of color.
Last week, the UW Board of Regents appointed Cauce to be the interim president. If the Regents were bold enough to do the right thing, they should encourage Cauce to apply for the permanent job and then pick her. A natural leader in many areas, she works well with people, including the faculty and community.
A female university president is a treasure, only 27 percent of university and college presidents are women. We have an excellent candidate now and it’s up to the Regents.
Don’t make the same mistake like last time–UW lost President Emmert and Provost Phyllis Wise, a Chinese American. The Board was unsupportive of the idea of Wise’s candidacy for the presidency. So she stayed out of the race and worked as interim president before Young’s arrival. Then, the University of Illinois approached Wise and grabbed her as Chancellor at Urbana-Champaign.
Please keep Cauce for the good of the UW.
3. Go Seahawks!
I am still proud of the team although the Hawks lost its Super Bowl championship.
The Hawks don’t get the respect and prestige they deserve–they are not even on the top 10 most popular football teams in the United States. But if they can prove themselves in 2016 with a championship, who would dare challenge their talents?
Yes, Hawks for a 2016 win! Yes, we can!
4. $15 minimum wage
The $15 minimum wage will be implemented in Seattle on April 1. It would be tough on minority businesses and even mainstream businesses.
I pray for business owners not to be victimized by the $15 minimum wage, and that they will be able to survive by developing innovative measures, and be equipped with a fighting spirit in dealing with adversities.
5. Lester Holt as anchor?
Who would have predicted that Lester Don Holt, Jr. would be the interim anchor in 2015 for NBC Nightly News during Brian Williams’ six-month suspension?
(Williams has been accused of embellishing his role in a fighting helicopter during the Iraq War when he was actually in another plane.) If Williams doesn’t return, Holt will be the first person of color anchor for a major network.
Even though many said Williams deserves a second chance, and he does, there is a silver lining for the public to recognize that Holt can fill a big anchor’s shoes. So I am rooting for Holt to be a prime-time news anchor—if not for NBC, then one of the other major networks.
6. Great stories!
Did you know that many times the media, including newspapers, are dictated by good visuals? Maybe we don’t have the meatiest story in a certain week, but we can try to procure a good photo to complement it. So the story gets a front-page position even though it’s not important enough to be placed there. That visual can make all the difference.
In the Year of the Sheep, I hope we will have stories that won’t depend on that. I am not hoping for disaster and bad news, but perhaps with our readership’s help (send us story ideas!), we can really provide great and exciting stories–especially those which can lift the human spirit. Yes, we will still deliver the bad news, but hopefully it will be a year of good news.
We hope to see great things happening in the Asian community and people of color so we can present inspirational pieces and lessons for us all.
7. Speak up about mental health issues
Asian Americans who have mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, are often ashamed to admit that they need help. Asian culture pressures many of the patients not to seek help and support, due to perhaps “saving face.” Everyone deserves to have a quality life. No one should be afraid to make changes or be ashamed to talk about something they need support for. Be brave and seek help. Be consistent and unashamed in your search for support. Be vocal. There is nothing to be frightened or embarrassed about when it comes to depression or other mental illness.
My wish is to be able to use the Asian Weekly as a resource and hopefully make a contribution to our community. We tried to address this issue after hearing about Yale student’s Luchang Wang’s suicide in our recent editorial. You will hear from us more about the issue. If you have any thoughts, please let us know.
8. Enjoy, relax, and focus on your blessings
My job is stressful as a publisher. Every day, I search for ways and moments to enjoy, laugh, and relax. My wish for you is the same. Every day, I make a decision in the morning that I am going to have a great day no matter what happens and how lousy it might be. It’s easier said than done. It’s my goal in Sheep Year, though.
In 2014, I was successful most days, but still working on some glitches along the way. In the Year of the Sheep, I hope I can achieve my goal 99 percent of the time.
Happy New Year in the Name of the Sheep, the most peaceful and patient animal of all in the 12 zodiac signs. (end)