Eugene Cho

the courage to go for it

As an introvert and someone who has struggled with “shyness” for a good chunk of my life, I can’t tell you how proud I am of all of our kids.

Our kids are naturally timid and shy. At times, it’s difficult to see since it brings up memories of my personal struggles and confidence – particularly as I immigrated to this country at age 6 only equipped with three English words: Hello, Bye, and Thank-You (or “Sank you”).  I was even voted the “shyest person” in 6th grade.

But, I suppose this is all part of the process of “finding” oneself and maturation. While our kids are still young (13, 10, and 8), it’s been beautiful to see them emerge in courage and confidence.

I’m especially thankful that as they wrestle with identity and personality, they are finding the courage to:

  • Speak up and voice their opinions
  • Pursue their passions
  • Try new things and adventures

Speaking of trying new things, our son, Jedi  – our youngest child – came home recently to share that he had decided to run for School Council.

And with that, he launched “his campaign” by making his poster and prepared this speech below:

” I am running for a student council, because I’m in 3rd grade. I believe that 3rd grade is special because you are in the middle of elementary school.

My goal is to do new things in 3rd grade. So I am doing student council. And I want to help you with your needs. And I know you and me will change throughout the year. That is why you should vote for me.

And “May the force be with you!'”

And…he won. Got the most votes in his class but who’s counting. 😉

  • Am I happy that he won? Of course.
  • Is he happy that he won? Of course.

But honestly, it’s not about the “victory.” It’s the fact that he wanted to try and went for it.

We all need that kind of courage.

 

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11 Responses

  1. Joey McGee says:

    This is awesome! Thanks for the encouragement and reminder!

  2. katey says:

    I ran our student store in third grade through student council. On my first day, I was so nervous I could barely give people the right change for their $.09 cent eraser tops and $.15 pencils. the force is definitely with your sweet Jedi.

  3. YJK says:

    Where IS that “love” button!!! 🙂 Totally relate as someone who fights being an introvert to this day. May the force be fierce! Go Jedi! (Awesome name, btw).

  4. jddoug17 says:

    Love that Jedi stepped out of the circle that so easily constrains and contains us. Just wrote a blog along these lines today.

  5. Jason says:

    What a cool kid…love the poster…bonus for naming you child Jedi…my wife would never let me get away with it.

  6. Tony says:

    I can’t get over the fact that your wife let you name your son Jedi. My wife wouldn’t let me name mine John Calvin… I had to go with just Calvin.

  7. Angela says:

    Good work, Jedi! As Student Council Advisor that is the first “May the Force Be With You” Campaign I’ve heard of. Totally beats guaranteeing pop machines in the lunchroom (never gonna happen…)

  8. Irene (Eunhae) says:

    I’m also an introvert and shy person, and I am currently a freshman in college. It’s been hard trying to come out of my shell, but reading this has given me courage to be myself. Gam sa ham ni da! ^^

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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  • To support both the equality of women & the dignity of the unborn feels like a very lonely place to be but we're not alone. May we press on. || 19 minutes ago
  • Going to the Women's March in Seattle bc as a Christian, I believe women are fearfully and wonderfully made and are to be heard & respected. || 3 hours ago
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