Growing up in a home of Buddhists, the importance of family was deeply planted in my soul. It was family solidarity that enabled my family to survive the racial hatred expressed against them before, during, and after World War II. It was family solidarity that supported my parents through the loss of their six year old angel-daughter who died from leukemia. It was a painful time in which we all shared and supported each other through the suffering and grief. As a young Japanese-American girl in an all-white community, the strength of my family’s love enabled me to ignore the racist insults that were sometimes thrown my way. My family provided me with values to live by, motivated me to succeed and taught me to serve others.
My devoted parents literally worked day and night so that my brothers and I could be fed, clothed, and schooled. As farmers, they lived in fear of devastating frosts, hail storms or droughts. These elements were not in their control but they pressed forward with determination and zeal. It was the love of their family and the need to provide for us that drove them beyond their fears. Their love for us motivated them to put in super-human effort and gave them the strength and energy they needed.
The capacity to love is such an amazing gift. This love is not only a source of joy, but is a source of energy, power, strength and courage. When we devote ourselves to our family, this capacity to love is enhanced to a level that we could never believe possible. I saw an amazing example of this recently. I had the opportunity to meet the Sackett family with their eight biological children and nine handicapped children. As I was watching them surrounded by all these children, these amazing parents were beaming and looked so radiantly in love with their family. My thought came, “How do they have the energy and means to raise all seventeen of these children?” And then I was reminded of my own parents and the realization came: “Their love for and commitment to their family has expanded their power and magnified their abilities.” It became obvious to me.
The family can be our anchor and the source of our strength. With a strong family foundation, our potential to achieve and develop our talents and abilities is expanded. With this foundation our capacity to contribute to our communities and to serve others is enhanced. For this reason, strengthening our own families and families throughout the world is one of the most fundamental principles underpinning Big Ocean Women. Loving, strong families produce strong individuals who know how to contribute to their communities, villages, cities, countries, and the world. Join us as we work to strengthen the family!
Board of Directors, Big Ocean