Looking Forward to Linsanity
“Only 24 seats left!”
“What?! Really? It’s still two weeks away.”
“Well, we better buy our tickets now before they sell out!”
My roommate, Noelle, and I, busted out our iPhones – our fingers tapping furiously away trying to buy tickets to the screening of Linsanity at Biola. I’m not going to lie – it was during the start of our church worship service as the worship leader was calling everyone to enter into a contemplative prayerful silence. I told God that at this present moment, the thing that I was concerned about was buying these tickets for Linsanity.
Why all the hype and excitement for this screening?
Linsanity, a documentary on Jeremy Lin, one of the few Asian Americans in the NBA, and the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent, who is openly Christian, traces how he makes it to the NBA despite numerous challenges. His story is one of the underdog, and it inspires so many, especially Asian Americans, that they have a chance at succeeding at something atypical like basketball. Because of the communal nature of Asian Americans, there is a sense of solidarity seeing someone of similar descent succeed.
Even though I don’t really follow basketball, or sports in general, I do feel a sense of pride and empowerment on behalf of the Asian American community when I see other Asian Americans do well. I’m excited to see this movie because I want to learn more about Jeremy Lin’s life and the impact he has had on so many people – inspiring Asian Americans to break the “bamboo ceiling.” (The “bamboo ceiling” is a term coined by Jane Hyun in Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: Career Strategies for Asians, showing how there are few Asian Americans in leadership and management positions.)
So, when I see an Asian American succeed and break the mold and stereotypes that are often put on us, I cheer him on. It shows that we have something to offer at the table, and that there are opportunities for us, more than there have been in the past.
Being a second generation Filipino American, I have often felt the pressure of doing things that a good kid of immigrant parents is supposed to do – the careers that will make a stable and comfortable living, like being a doctor, lawyer, engineer, nurse, or accountant. When I chose English as a major in college, and pursued two seminary degrees, I deviated from the standard route, and I often wonder what my future holds. So, the story of Jeremy Lin inspires me, and encourages me that I don’t have to follow the mold, and that I can press on despite the challenges that may arise along this path.