Wednesday, June 11, 2008

子女不是父母财产,人不是国家政府财产 Children Are Not Parents' Property, Human Beings Are Not Governments' Property

Bow and Arrow

Translation by Kai Chen 陈凯 翻译

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you they belong not to you.


You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.


You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bow from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might that His arrow may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He Loves also the bow that is stable.



Kai Chen on Freedom 陈凯论自由

子女不是父母财产,人不是国家政府财产 Children Are Not Parents' Property, Human Beings Are Not Governments' Property


中国的人们要成为自由人,首先要消除政府是父母、人们是子民的奴役文化心态。 人绝不是任何国家政府的产物和财产。 中国的家庭要达到正常健康的心态,首先要消除子女是父母的财产的病态心理。 每一个人生命的真实意义既不是国家政府给予的,也不是家庭父母给予的。 每一个人生命的真实意义只有他与上苍明了。 --- 陈凯

If people in China want to be free beings, first of all they must rid off the corrupt cultural complex of parental government/infantile people. Human beings must never be properties of a country or a government. It is same for the Chinese families. If you want to have a normal healthy family, first of all you must rid off your traditional despotic/pathological notion that children are nothing but properties of parents. The meaning of a person's life is never given by a country or a government, nor is it given by his or her parents. The meaning of a person's life can only be understood by him/her and the Almighty. --- Kai Chen


Dear Visitors:

Having graduated from Yale University in History of Medicine/Science, my daughter Alex (陈影)applied to join the Peace Corps to serve in a developing country for two years. I am immensely proud of her. This is her own decision to test herself and find the true meaning of her life.

Yesterday we received the assignment for Alex from the Peace Corps. She will be serving in the remote area in Zambia, Africa. Indeed this is a very tough assignment for one's own safety is put on the line, not just one's endurance of a sub-standard living. My wife was a little emotional having learned about the assignment, worrying about Alex's health and safety. But this is her decision and we as parents must respect her free will. Indeed dangers and risks are looming large for Alex in the next two years. But I trust her to triumph over all the adversities in her future. She will come out as a more intelligent, more compassionate, tougher and wiser human being. One must test oneself to find what one is made of and why one is born into this world.

In Alex's basketball career, she had already endured many unexpected adversities such as injuries and other man-made obstacles. She has triumphed over them all. I trust her to do the same in the coming adventure in Africa. I love her so much and take pride in her excellent character. She is indeed Kai Chen's daughter. She is indeed a free human being. She is indeed American.

May God bless Alex and all free and brave souls on earth. Best. Kai Chen 陈凯



By Kai Chen, 1-07-2003


“The way one approaches the game is the way one approaches life”


I had always thought of her as just another player, with ordinary talent and a big heart and the love of basketball. I remembered that when she just started to get into this game, I even tried to discourage her. “It’s a brutal game.” stating my own experience as a former basketball player for the Chinese National Team. “Are you sure you really want to get into this?” The only answer I got was the sound of dribbling the ball. Sure I got a basketball stand in the backyard the moment she started running. But how did I know she had flat feet, no speed and jumping ability and an awkward swing of arms when she runs? I knew she was going to be tall since I am 6’7” and my wife Susan is 5’11”. But being tall does not mean she can play the game. Everybody knows that.

I arrived at the gym a little early, as usual. But this day I was unusually distressed. I was concerned about the pain she had complained in her left knee. She had an ACL reconstructive surgery last year on that knee. So far she had felt fine. And she had performed quite well in the last three tournaments this season. Not only did she not show signs of rustiness, she had some of her best games ever. I was excited and even ecstatic about her recovery, till two days ago she told me about the pain. A teammate inadvertently ran into her during a routine practice. Her left knee had swollen up and there was some fluid in it. She was just about to put things together after she first had the injury in her sophomore year. Now just when she was about to blossom into herself in her junior season, now just when she was about to taste her own fruit of hard work, she had to…. I did not even want to spell out the fear, the uncertainty, the helplessness.

She was working on a stationary bicycle when I walked in. After she was done, she picked up a ball to shoot at one end of the court while the school varsity was practicing at the other end. I walked over to rebound and feed her the ball as I had done thousands of times.

“How do you feel?” I felt compelled by my own urge to know. “Shaky.” She answered without looking at me. “When I tighten my muscles, there is a pain inside.” Her voice became a little unsteady. I approached her, squatted to examine her knee. I reached and touched her leg. The surgical scars were still red and shiny. I stood up. I could see a little moist sparkled in her eyes. There was a little helplessness. Yet she was quiet with that typical determined look on her face. I suddenly realized that this couple of days I was preparing something to say to her in my head, a speech I never thought I would come up with this early.

“Alex,” I reached out my hands to hold her shoulder. “I know that I am your harshest critic. Yet there is something that needs to be said….”

Suddenly I was choked with emotions. I could not continue. I found that one of my hands was still holding her, but the other hand was covering my own mouth. Tears started to trickle down my cheeks. Then both of my hands held her tightly in my arms. Time stood still.

Here in the Marlborough School gym, under the glaring lights, I was holding my daughter in my arms, I was embracing her fully in my heart, as I murmured words into her ears: “I love you so much, so much, Alex…. You make me feel so proud to be your father. So proud….” I could taste my own tears with my feverish kisses on her forehead. “I love you, too, Dad.” was all I heard through her sobs. I realized at that moment that my tears were not tears of sadness and disappointment, but tears of happiness and deliverance. I realized that not only she knew how much she had achieved since she started playing this game, she knew what lay ahead and she was ready to face the challenge. I realized that she had such a flare of confidence that no matter what happens in her future, she will be OK. And I realized that no matter what happens in the future in our family, we will be OK. For a few moments, I was immersed in her grace and dignity. I felt the serenity coming back to me after some unspeakable distress. I realized words could not express what I felt: Life is being lived.

As I stood there watching her 6’1” beautiful frame, I whispered her name to myself as I thought. “You have shown me who you are. You have proven to yourself that you are worthy of this game. You are a winner in life.” I smiled and felt like joking as I extracted myself from the moment: “After all, you got my genes.” She laughed and her face radiated like a summer morning glory. What a beautiful sight.

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