Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.
I feel blessed to have the parents I do. God has truly been exceptionally kind. Of course, all I have learned in life is thanks to them. I suspect that everyone reading this feels the same way about their parents. It is true though, that we are who we are because our parents put in so much hard work into us. But I do believe that I can only hope to have all the qualities that my parents have and wanted me to imbibe.
One of the qualities I have always admired about my dad, is his magnanimity. He is so large hearted, and he has always taught me to give more than I receive. Its something I try to do in all of my relationships. Its something I have learned from observation, and I hope to be as generous and large hearted as him some day.
Another thing my dad has always taught me is to always be prepared for the future. He taught me to be careful about things like leaving home early for a flight and being prepared for unexpected eventualities. He always told me to learn to cook, since it was a life skill that enables you to live life without having to depend on someone else. I guess its thanks to his advice that I have been able to teach my self to cook, and am able to write a blog on it today!
Dad also explained to me that life is not fair. There will always be unexplained instances that seem the most unfair, and all we can do, is to accept them and make the most of what we have. This is a valuable lesson, and I have always kept it in mind. There have been many times that it has helped me from completely breaking down, like the first time I got a rejected from a college or didn’t make a job interview. Life is unfair, but these instances make you stronger, and help you face tougher situations in life.
Dad has also been instrumental in teaching me that we do not get everything we want in life. I used to make the millions of demands that all children do, and he would sometimes say no just to teach me that all my demands will not be met later in life. Although he would eventually relent to my unending pleading, I did learn that ‘Vitamin N’ was given to me for a reason-it made me resilient in the face of adversity.
Another very important lesson dad taught me was to take responsibility for my actions. He showed me that it was important to be prepared for the repercussions of my actions. I knew that if I ever got in a fight in school, dad would take the side of the person who was in the right, even if it meant going against his own daughter. Though I resented it at that time, I am grateful to him for it now. It made me ethical and showed me how to take decisions in life.
These are only some of the lessons that dad has taught me over the years. I can never list out all the things my dad has, and continues to, teach me. But I am grateful to him for having taken a tough stan
Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.