Linsanity and Forgiveness
“Mommy, there’s more Linsanity tonight!” Yes, the Linsanity madness has surely touched the Young household. It wasn’t until after about four games, that I explained to my kids that the Asian-American basketball player they were watching was not, in fact, named Linsanity. What joy Jeremy Lin has brought to our country and, particularly, to us Asian-Americans.
It was inevitable that with all of the positivity generated by Lin’s inspiring story, the negativity would soon follow. We are well aware of how insidious anti-Asian sentiments have reared their ugly heads since Lin’s marvelous emergence from the depths of the Knick’s bench. There has been much pontification in response to all of the racist headlines, comments and tweets related to the Jeremy Lin story. I’m not here to add to the debate. I’m not here to convince anyone as to the significance of the Jeremy Lin story for Asian-Americans. How he both fulfills stereotypes, and simultaneously transcends them. We know it. We understand it. We are moved collectively by it.
Throughout this Jeremy Lin phenomenon, I have been particularly impressed by Jeremy Lin – the man. Not Jeremy Lin – the basketball player. Watching him inspires me to be a better person. Seriously. His life has gone through a three-hundred sixty degree rotation in the blink of an eye. Correction, in the blink of the public eye. He has been scrutinized by one and all, he has been adored and insulted. Yet, through it all – through it all – he has remained humble, grateful and forgiving.
While the rest of us, rightfully, excoriated the racism that was unleashed in response to Lin; Jeremy Lin – the man, forgave. He forgave ESPN for the “Chink in the Armor” headline and said he believed it to be an honest mistake. Whether or not the headline was an honest mistake (which I don’t believe for a second), Jeremy Lin showed us that he would be steadfast in keeping his feet firmly planted on the ground. He would not allow himself to get sucked in to the madness that had the rest of us whipped into a frenzy. As the (Asian-American) blogosphere got furious, Jeremy Lin reminded us of the importance of forgiveness.
We all know how difficult forgiveness can be. Lin’s example could not come at a better time for me personally. With the impending visit by my Korean mother (Oma), I am reminded that perhaps, I still need to forgive. I like to think that I have forgiven her but I am not always sure that I truly believe that I have forgiven her. I am no longer angry about being adopted but does that mean I have forgiven my Oma?
Forgiveness is an act that we do for ourselves. Like a muscle, forgiveness needs to be used repeatedly in order to keep it fit. Is my forgiveness muscle ready for my Oma’s visit? I think so, I hope so. We shall see.