Chinese new year

This Hawaiian native came into the yoga room, beaming with joy. He said “Happy Chinese New Year” to a few people in the room he knew, and apparently the morning had gone so well for him that he was excited about an auspicious new year.

I always wondered how people could be so happy, sometimes even with a little envy.

He came by and chatted with us, and told us about the Sun Yat Sen park and the history of the family with Hawaii.

Sun Yat Sen is a name known by all Chinese.  He was considered the father of the Republic of China and had led the revolution back in 1911 that brought down the two-thousand-year old imperial system.

While I was happy to learn about the Sun Yat Sen – Hawaii connection, it’s his brother’s story that I’d like to share.  Sun Yat Sen’s older brother Sun Mei was a successful merchant, and was the one who had supported Sun Yat Sen’s education.  Later, he had acquired massive land in Maui and was nicknamed King of Kula.  However, Sun Mei had to sell off his land piece by piece, then his business and finally to declare bankruptcy just to support his younger brother’s revolution in China. I wonder whether Sun Mei had done it out of the love for his younger brother, or out of his own political ideology. Probably both.  But standing beside Sun Yat Sen’s statue and looking at the vast land beneath my feet and the pacific ocean beyond, the land once belonged to Sun Mei, I couldn’t help feeling the love Sun Mei had for his brother.

Maybe one’s passion doesn’t have to be art, music, science or business, maybe one’s passion is the love of someone else, be it one’s children, lover or in this case a brother.

How to define a successful life? What to write on one’s tombstone? Here at the Sun Yet Sen park, where the world celebrates him as a courageous thinker and leader of his era, I give my respect to his brother.

Yet, would I be satisfied if my tombstone says “a good daughter and a loving wife”?  Most likely not, as I feel I need to be more than just that.