My Kaleidoscope


May 31, 2021

My Kaleidoscope
By: Tiger Combest

To most people we are just Asian, we all look the same, speak the same language, eat the same things, and come from the same place. But many people overlook our rich culture and extraordinary care for our families. I was born in a diverse suburb town in Fairfax, Virginia to very hard and studious working parents. My dad is a Native American and my mom is Chinese. The diversity and richness of history shine brightly earlier on in my life. I learned how to see the beauty in other’s cultures and beliefs.

When I was 3 years old, I had my first savory taste of the rich cultures of Japanese and Chinese traditions. During this time, my memory was vague, but I couldn’t forget how at home I felt with all the people being so kind and hospitable. This was the first time I shook my kaleidoscope and saw the world as a beautiful paradise apart from the rest of the world’s problems.

Steve Maraboli a decorated military veteran, once said that when you are living the best version of yourself, you inspire others to live the best versions of themselves. An example of this saying is my dad. He has been an inspiration ever since I was born. No matter how busy my father was he always found the time to listen and be my greatest supporter. He always saw the best in people and taught me to do the same, anyone who came into contact with him always walked away happier and inspired by him. He said that people shine best when they feel respected and valued.

When I was 9, I faced one of my biggest challenges. I sprained my ankle 3 months before Kungfu Nationals. This set me back an awful lot and got me in a dark place because I couldn’t practice for the biggest tournament in KungFu. This made me not want to practice Kungfu, I almost gave up and quit. But my dad told me that life was never meant to be easy, it was always meant to be a journey filled with twists and turns, a journey where we must travel through no matter how bad the obstacles are ahead. That many of our failures are better than our victories because we can learn from our failures. This one speech stayed with me every time I had a challenging time.

After Kungfu Nationals, I had the opportunity to show martial arts to the Washington Wizards professional basketball team and an audience of 20,000 people. Many people were impressed by the Chinese martial arts and the techniques of many weapons. One of the players on the team named Bradley Beal came after the game and said that the staff was his favorite thing we had done. The light of our Chinese culture shown bright that day and inspired others to reach their potential.

When looking at Asian hate, I remember the speech my dad gave me. Many times at Chinese school many of my Chinese classmates had a weirded-out face and said “Is that ur dad?” “Are u adopted?” I was always proud of the way I saw myself and my family no matter how diverse I seemed to others. Seeing the best in ourselves helps us see the best in other people.

We as a country and as a culture through a kaleidoscope can see the beauty in others’ cultures and differences. Every time we turn our kaleidoscope a new world emerges from the insights of others cultures. Especially with all the events and crimes against Asian Americans lately. We have to remind we are one no matter our ethnicities, backgrounds, and race. The kaleidoscope is in your hands, u can change the world with just one turn of understanding and perspective.


One thought on “My Kaleidoscope”
  1. Tiger,
    When a glass was filled with water to its half capacity, a pessimist would say that “it’s half empty;” an optimist would say that “it’s half full.” Some would say that the water is too little for the glass, while others would say that the glass is too big for the water. You can see different perspectives from the same kaleidoscope. Your dad is a role model who guides you half potential to your glass.

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