Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I was thinking of the magic of the holidays and how this time of year always seems
to get people in the right frame of mind to love, enjoy life, and be happy. Lots
of people are suffering, lots of people are struggling, but lots of the those same
people are keeping a positive frame of mind and believing that life will get better,
and it will. They keep believing that this too shall pass, and it always does.

I remember when my family first immigrated to the United States. My father was already
working as a doctor in Taiwan and my mother was a fashion designer and teacher,
but both had to start their lives and careers all over when moving to the United
States. Dad had to redo his residency here, another 4 years of schooling, to satisfy
the requirements asked of him of the U.S. medical boards. Can you imagine already
going through 8 years of medical school and residency in Taiwan and having to endure
another four years of residency! You do the math. I was only two when we immigrated
here and my parents always told me life was hard. Residents didn't earn that much
money, perhaps $700 a month at that time in 1970's, and half of that was sent back
to my paternal grandparents to support them. We were a family of four living off
of a salary of $400 a month to pay for food, clothing, and the basic necessities
to survive. It was tough living just on a very meager salary. My memory of that
time was of moments and emotions. I remember that every weekend, our treat for the
week was eating at McDonalds because that's all we could afford. We didn't have
a car, so we had to walk almost a mile every day to get our groceries. My mom would
put my sister Shirley in the stroller, and I would walk by her side, precariously,
all the way to the grocery store. My little three year old legs could barely keep
up while we were walking, and I remembered my mom and I always keeping our heads
down for fear of making eye contact with others, since we were shy, didn't speak
English, and people stared at us since we were minorities in a predominantly white
neighborhood in Missouri. Racism did exist in that part of the world, and we were
foreign people in a foreign country, and looked different than everyone else. It
was especially hard for my dad and mom, not knowing the language well, without
many friends or a community, and raising two kids, while my father was at the hospital
all day and moonlighting at night to make more money to support our family.

But the great thing is, not once did I hear my parents complain about our lives.
They always let us remember how lucky we were, how much we already had, how what
we were experiencing, though difficult, was temporary. And this too, shall pass.
I remember how creative my mother was with activities for me to do. We drew pictures,
an object for every letter of the alphabet, painted, played in the park, and found
very creative ways to entertain ourselves since we didn't have extra money to spend.
Life was simple and very fulfilling in many ways. Times were hard, but we didn't
lose faith. My father and mother never lost faith in themselves, and their dreams
to make a good life for themselves and their family. They followed their dreams
all the way from the East to the West, and never stopped believing. They had a vision
and stuck to it, even being naturalized as U.S. citizens when I turned nine, fulfilling
one of their American dreams as well! No matter what life threw at them, they found
a way to overcome life's challenges, survive, and even thrive.

So no matter what is going on for you this holiday season, just know that everything
will be OK. This too shall pass, and you will find a way to get through the hardship
and break through to real love, happiness, success, and prosperity. Whatever you
desire will become yours if you envision it, believe it, and dream it. Whatever
you can see in your mind and believe, you can achieve! Life is whatever you make
of it and the world is at your fingertips!

Enjoy the magic of this holiday season and from my family to yours, wishing you
much peace, prosperity, power, and prosperity for the New Year, and all the love
and luck you desire in life! I am always here for you!

All the Best in life and love,
Panney Wei, C.Ht.