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Things We Can't See About Others


Most children who grow up with immigrant parents have a few memories that they carry for the rest of their days.

This is one of mine - showing up to my first picture day in 1979 a little overdressed relative to my Grade 1 and 2 classmates. Bless my mom who I’m sure was wanting her only son to look his best for such a memorable day.

Later that same year, I brought home a note from my teacher asking my parents to send me to school the next day with some sort of pin for a school activity. Not having a dictionary in the house, my mom neatly wrapped a few safety pins in a cloth for me to take to school.

It turned out that the teacher asked all of us to bring rolling pins to roll out dough to make Christmas tree ornaments. God bless my mom for doing her best and my teacher at the time for understanding the mix-up.

We may never know what another person’s upbringing looked like and what limitations they faced and continue to struggle with.

I reckon that the more we remind ourselves of this, the more natural it becomes to root for and help those who are struggling.



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Hi Dr. Kim, your comment that children of immigrant parents have memories the rest of their days is so true. We emigrated from England and though we're supposed to have a "leg-up" because, after all, we do speak English don't we?!!!! That statement is not totally true... The nuances and differences between N. American English and UK English in the late 50's were considerable. I felt like I'd landed on another planet! I'm also guilty of doing to my son what your mother did to you with the bow tie! I'd spent some time sewing a grey suit for him because we were going to a wedding and to top it off I obtained a huge blue bow tie to match his eyes. Poor kid! But fortunately he couldn't give a darn and we all had a wonderful time at the wedding. My best wishes to you and yours and thanks for all that you do. Sincerely, Patricia Webster