Editor's Note: A Reminder of Where I Came From
Happy October, everyone! I have a feeling it’s going to be a fantastic month. For one, I’m turning the big 2-8 at the end of the month—inching closer and closer to that 30-year milestone mark—but I couldn’t be more excited.
For two, it’s the fall season (aka pumpkin spice season!), and I can start breaking out the chunky sweaters and booties. But that will have to hold off for a few extra weeks, because it’s still in the 80s in Philadelphia right now—yikes!
Just a few weeks ago, I went on a short vacation with my family. My immediate family consists of my mom, my dad, my brother and the newest addition to the family, my wonderful sister-in-law. We all went to visit my dad’s side of the family in Edmonton, Canada. It’s not a very popular or well-known city, but it’s quiet and there’s character to it. I have a plethora of cousins up there, and it’s been a while since we’ve all gotten together, so we decided to take a weekend to go to Banff, a beautiful national park filled with great mountains and never-ending blue lakes. We spent the weekend hiking, reminscing on childhood memories and eating awesome food (but really, what’s new?). After our little weekend getaway, we headed back to Edmonton to reconvene with the family.
The main reason for our trip was to celebrate/remember my grandma. She passed about a year ago, and in our Vietnamese/Buddhist culture, we always have a yearly ceremony to remember our ancestors. I’ll be honest, while I identify myself as a Buddhist, it’s been a long time since I’ve stepped foot into the temple—over 15 years in fact—so I’ve forgotten the practice and what it’s actually like to be inside of a temple.
More importantly, I had forgotten about the monks (and nuns). These men and women are the most passionate—and disciplined—of people. And not to get all religious on you or anything, but these individuals dedicate their lives to spreading, as well as preserving, the word of Buddha. And the temple is solely supported (financially) through donations from its followers and supporters. More mature Nhu found this experience so enlightening and found herself contemplating the meaning of life.
So, on my flight back to Philadelphia, it got me thinking about all of you in nonprofit organizations. You are all advocates for the preservation and dissemination of social good—whatever your mission and cause may be. I applaud you for taking the iniative and putting the preservation of humanity at your forefront. You are the “monks” and “nuns” for a better tomorrow. Keep up the great work, and remember that you are appreciated—at least from this enlightened (almost) 28-year old editor.