Love. The most versatile emotion to exist. There’s so many ways to express it, whether it’s remembering the milk in your friend’s iced latte, a quick peck on the cheek before bedtime, a bear hug like embrace , or even popping the question one one knee with a gleaming De Beers diamond in hand. It can be found anywhere, peeping around street corners , the bed of the newlywed couple, and the altar at the church. In one place, however, love disguised itself. It’s veiled behind the sacrifices of Asian American parents. A cape of their children’s gratitude hides it. To be able to love in the Asian American community, is an accomplishment, or something that must be strived for.
Whether they came here as medical practices, lawyers, information & tech specialist it’s, etc. , Asian American immigrants made it to the land of the free through many hardships, sacrifice being one of them. Sacrifice is a word with heavy weight to it. For these immigrants, it’s more than just giving up the last slice of pepperoni pizza. It’s throwing away dreams and aspirations to get employed in a high-paying job. It’s saying goodbye to the only home they’ve ever known, along with the all of their family. It’s going to a nation where everybody looks different and none of them know them. Asian American adults were forced to give up so many things so dear to their heart. This cannot simply just stop once they reach the West.
For Asian Americans, among themselves, coming to America is seen as a similarity between them, not a shared accomplishment. Therefore, they feel the need to sacrifice even more, to validate all the hard work they’ve enforced. This leaves them working hours into the night, trying to afford an Ivy League education. It keeps them always tapping away on a computer or on a conference call. It uses up their time and energy excessively, and they know it. They know they strived. They know they did it out of love for their children. Therefore, they don’t see the importance is physically mouthing the phrase “I love you”. They’ve already done so much. It seems insignificant, saying those words. After all their work and dedication, it’d be silly to think they didn’t act out of love.
Likewise, the hard work of immigrant children , make them think they don’t need to say “I love you”. Out of gratitude, they study to get into Ivy League colleges. They play acoustic guitar, do varsity soccer, do all the things their parents couldn’t back in their home country. They too, think that all of their hard work and dedication, proves their love enough.
Because of the hard work both Asian American parents and their children put into their crafts, they often don’t find it necessary at times to physically say “I love you.”
How do you say “I love you?”