A first-generation Filipino-American’s voice.
An intentional reminder that:
My Diversity is Valuable.
Here’s what I learned.
When I was nine, I was a young student in Catholic school.
All taught the same thoughts, a fabricated sense of understanding,
Despite the well intended, a breeding ground for a small-minded generation.
Encouraged for submission, discouraged for individuality,
Rules restricted us from dreaming beyond a small glimmer of light,
We may flourish within walls, but fresh air made us broken.
When I was fifteen, I attended a public school with over 300 students.
The variety was challenging, in all the critical ways,
Yet, you could count the number of Filipinos on only one hand.
Fighting to understand unknown territory, white culture became the “right” culture.
Envy for inherited wealth, or longing for a name easily pronounced,
Diversity hidden as deep as I could push down, a misled model for minority survival.
When I was nineteen, I attended a university in the city by the Sound.
There, I discovered the power of my story, my perspective, and my diversity,
Difference need not be met with shame; rather, My Diversity is Valuable.
The bindings of my book were created by the calloused hands of immigrants.
Dreamers for more, and with a strength to overpower the fear of failure,
Forging a reality for my brother and I, even when diversity, was never met with celebration.
My parents fought on; they stumbled, tumbled, and even crawled.
Meticulous without complaint, heads down to cultivate resilience,
Crawled so we could stumble, walked so we could fall; but don’t worry - we carry each other now.
My voice, once quiet, is now bold, and my mind knows greater volumes.
I no longer hide diversity with a mask, I now wear it like a badge on my chest,
Ready to share about the challenges I’ve endured, and the identity I’ve proudly nourished.
Diversity is variety. It’s assorted and different. Maybe unconventional.
It can find you uncomfortable in moments that are unfamiliar,
But later creates avenues for fostering new perspectives.
Diversity is pain. It’s messy and unpredictable. Maybe argumentative.
Difficult conversations clashing, led by two kind hearts,
Yet, not everyone wields the tools to understand what they’ve never known before.
Diversity is growth. It’s the next step and improvement. It’s wholesome.
Lack of diversity is a sentence for unwavering and stagnant energy,
While familiar is comfortable, enhancement can never occur without a different perspective.
Diversity is valuable.
My Diversity is Valuable.
Storytelling by Gen
Travel diaries from explorations and adventures.