Four years ago, about 400 Chinese Americans gathered in our nation’s capital, henceforth the birth of a civic movement and a new chapter in Chinese American history. The occasion was the first “Chinese American Convention,” the spiritual start of United Chinese Americans (UCA) movement!
We came from different states with different backgrounds and experiences. But we all share one thing in common: we want to come together to serve, lead and inspire our community! In short, we want to change our life by changing this world around us! And that motto of “serve, lead and inspire!” has since become the banner and guiding spirit of UCA.
I often ask myself the question: What has bound us together at UCA? It is not really politics, or party, or even our skin color. I believe it is our bold pursuit of humanity and social justice, our high watermark idealism, and our determination to make the best out of this impermanent life together—whether it is about meaningful friendship, or a more fulfilled life, or a cultural or spiritual renewal. In short, we want to live our life according to our values and visions. It’s a proud moment for me to declare that we have just done that for four years now!! What a blessing to be part of this amazing journey and in company with all of you, UCA Family, and my amazing fellow Chinese Americans!
Another question I often ask myself is “What is a true community?” We at UCA often fondly talk about “Chinese American community” and “UCA Family,” and these beautiful connections have transformed and uplifted us, and our community, for the better. But we are not quite there yet. More than a common heritage and lineage, a true community or family must be one of mutual care and help, shared values and pursuit of common dreams. On this anniversary day, I want to challenge all of us to think hard on how we can build a true Chinese American community through our sustained efforts.
As we celebrate our UCA’s birthday, I call on you to reflect upon the journey we have taken together and to renew our commitment to the beautiful dream that we started four years ago. Ask yourself some hard questions and challenge each other to do better and more for this troubled world and the suffering planet.
Let me end this anniversary reflection by quoting one of John Lennon’s immortal songs “Imagine”:
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
Join us! Grow this movement together!!
Happy Birthday, UCA!