As the last remnants of summer fade into fall the lingering power of my father’s soul is strong. I am catapulted back to my childhood where a recent trip back to Vietnam allowed a flood of memories to seed themselves into my very being. As a kid I had always known that my father was a man to be reckoned with – one look from him and I was frozen in my tracks. The stories of his bravery were a part of the fabric of our family but beyond that my father was always a steadfast sentinel keeping us safe and ensuring that we had the tools that we would need to not only succeed in life but to excel.
During my trip I had the chance to speak with my father’s brother (Nguyen Ngoc-Huynh, Long Xuyen, Vietnam) about my father and his childhood; questions that I wish I could have asked the man himself. He was a typical Vietnamese father who didn’t share too much of his feelings nor emotions with me – perhaps language barrier, perhaps something else (which I'll blog later). One of the things that has become clear with my father’s passing is that we need to take the time while people are still among us to ask all of those important questions regarding our own history…if we don’t one day we will find ourselves seeking answers in the best way we can, through their connections. I am fortunate that my father still has siblings to whom I can go both state-side and in Vietnam.
Recently I have become very aware of “perception” and its role within our lives. This concept intrigues me because I am learning that perception is one of the key elements in terms of understanding our world as well as those around us. This was never clearer to me as it was during one of the recent conversations with my uncle about my father. I have always known my father through my own “perceptions” of him but my uncle had a very different perception of my father and through his sharing of his perceptions I now feel like I know my father just little better than I had before.
We all need to take a lesson here and understand the concept of perception and how it can color our visions of everything and everyone around us. Sometimes those perceptions can be good but sometimes they can be bad. If we are aware that perception is a huge part of how we see things it can be possible to wade through the real and not so real in order to arrive at a more accurate picture of the life around us. The other way around is also true – what sort of perceptions are you putting out to your family, friends and co-workers? Is it an accurate representation of who you are?
As many of you are aware I am in the middle of writing a book. My father and the foundation that he has laid for me is a huge part of that story however, the more I delve into his life the more I realize that my own perceptions of him have been, until now, limited. Understanding the role that perception plays in our lives is opening up a whole new perspective into my father.
I challenge each of you to do what I am doing and challenge your own perceptions about the world around you. Are you making bad decisions based on limited perception?
Miki is a renowned motivational speaker and author. He appeared in the 2015 Oscar nominated film "The Last Days in Vietnam" directed and produced by Rory Kennedy, the youngest daughter of Robert F. Kennedy. He often speaks to others on the ways in which they can better their lives. His history is well documented in the documentary that shares the amazing story of his father Ba Van Nguyen and his bravery during the last few days in the Fall of Saigon. His message is one of enlightenment and courage. Miki has overcome many obstacles as he and his family worked hard to create a life in the United States while their homeland was being torn apart. Through his father’s example of courage and commitment to a better life for his family Miki is inspired to be the best he can be and be of service to others by sharing his and his family’s experiences in an effort to give hope to all refugees who take the enormous risks of leaving everything behind in hopes of a better life.
Miki is available for speaking engagements on a number of topics and also has a new book to be published soon that will offer instruction and inspiration through the recanting of his life and his experiences in this extraordinary world we all call home. For more information visit http://www.mikinguyen.com