Opinions Mean Nothing / Asians / What is Fun?

“Opinions mean nothing; they may be beautiful or ugly, clever or foolish, anyone can embrace or reject them.”

Whatever you say, no one could really care less. It’s not their problem, so deal with your own problems. Geez man, figure it out. Sorta reminds me of that recent Big Sean song…

You know what? Most opinions don’t even mean anything, so don’t think that anything that you say will mean anything to me. Just kidding.

So, when would opinions matter? Well, of course when certain words that come out of your mouth manage to somewhat influence someone, then your opinion would mean something. And vise versa, when no one gives a damn about what you have to say, then that’s where the “opinions mean nothing” part comes in.

So when exactly do opinions mean nothing? When the Asian child tries to talk to his or her parents. I, being Asian, have very much first-hand experience. Asian parents are very stubborn and almost never agree to negotiating to anything. Their idea of fun means always spending time with the family, and hanging out with friends means that you don’t care about your family. When I entered high school, I started to grow distant with my family, and as the years came by, I started feeling uncomfortable just talking to them about anything. In my life, as I got older, I felt as if everything was getting restricted even more. I remember not getting to attend parties with the marching band (I’m a saxophone player!) after competitions because my parents were too tired to drive me, and they wouldn’t trust other parents to drive me. Part of me felt left out, and I tried to encourage myself by telling myself that I would get more time to watch anime when I get home. But honestly, that’s just sad. I tried to tell my parents, but to them, it was just a party, so I managed to eventually convince myself that my studies were much more important. Clearly, my opinions meant nothing to them, but somehow what they thought mattered to me. It was probably because they were my parents.

Did having a lot of fun matter? In my parents’ opinions, going home and setting yourself up in front of a screen seemed better than going to a party. They only let me head to parties if they knew the parents of the kids there, and being Asian parents, most of their friends were their high school buddies who helped each other survive the new American world after the war. It’s not like I got to go anywhere else anyways, so what else could I have done? So at home, all I had was my computer and paper and pencils and books (assorted manga and comics). With the paper and pencils, I taught myself to draw, never having taken an art class, and I guess I enjoyed it. But was it fun? No, I believe that drawing was a form of intense concentration, while chillaxing at the same time. Watching anime seemed fun, but was it really healthy to be just sitting looking at a TV or computer for hours on hours? But then again, my parents made me finish all my homework before doing anything, so guess how washed out my brain was after tackling down a load of homework.

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I remember having a conversation with my chemistry teacher regarding fun. He told me that he was worried about me, since I never really have anytime to enjoy myself, focusing on studying most of the time while maintaining a busy schedule (band, tennis, clubs, etc.). He asked me if I really enjoyed anything I was doing, and I told him that I disliked most of the stuff that I was involved in, only doing it so that I would look good to colleges because that’s what my parents cared about. He believed that if I was happy with my life, then I would be able to do better in school. So he proceeded to ask me: “What do you do for fun?”

“Well…umm…”

“That doesn’t involve a screen?”

“…”

I was stuck. I didn’t know what to say, and I thought that being passionless was perfectly okay because the ideals embedded into me by my parents said to sacrifice fun now to be able to enjoy life later on. So I just told him that. And he told me that I have to be able to have a good time in order to be able know how to enjoy things later on. He told that I’d better find enjoyable hobbies, but I’d been so busy that I sorta just kept studying. I was unhappy, but I believed it was normal. My chemistry teacher’s opinion made me rethink my actions, but I sorta brushed them off because of the greater influence that my parents had on me, even though I wasn’t sure if it was good.

Opinions. Opinions. What do they do? Tear us apart? Bring us together? So they could be dangerous and precious at the same time. They could be sayings that go from one out the other ear. They could be sayings that we keep in our hearts for the rest of our lives. So yes, they could mean nothing; they could mean something special; maybe it depends on the thought process we got through for that opinion, and maybe it depends on if others would even care about what we think or not. Just like everything else, I believe that opinions come in various shapes and sizes, likely determining who we are.

~Dennis

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