A friend kept asking about the name of this blog and, specifically when it came to all things Asian, why I gravitated to the Japanese. Did I hate my own kind? Was I ashamed of being Laotian? The answer to the question is far from dramatic.
Having to fend for myself at an early age, without a strong male role model on this side of the Atlantic, I naturally found one elsewhere. I wasn't attracted to politicians, movie stars or professional athletes. I was instead attracted to archetypes, to heroes of yesteryear. The heroes who fought for right, for those too weak to defend themselves and did so even if it meant the loss of personal life. Coincidentally, figures who most closely adhered to this moral code happened to be Samurai. Knights.+ Cowboys. (I'm sorry Mrs. Wright - my 8th grade english teacher- They allow us to punctuate single words. when. you. work. in. advertising/design.)
I did know that these rules of conduct existed outside of faith, organized religion and the norm of societies that did not look after their fellow man. I read voraciously about the archetypes taking in all the details of bushido, chivalry and the exploits of the old west.
To say I embodied the moral code of all these archetypes early in my life would be laughable. It wasn't until Page, a long-time college friend, mentioned that I had slipped into a vortex of self-centered interest that it registered in my conscience. In other-words, I had turned into an asshole. In many ways she was right, in my twenties I was not the best friend I could be and most of my focus centered around my career. To be truthful, the turn around did not start on that exact day but, the seeds were planted. Eventually, when I can sit down with Page and have a serious conversation, I'll be sure to remind her and say thank-you for the heads-up. Until then, I work at it everyday.
Though the "codes of the warrior" that governed the archetypes were disparate and often not uniform they did share these basic common elements; mercy, courage and loyalty.