“Even a hunter cannot kill a bird that flies to him for refuge.”
This Samurai maxim inspired one gifted and courageous man to save thousands of people in defiance of his government and at the cost of his career. On Friday I came to Nagoya at the invitation of the Japanese government to speak in honor of his memory.
The astonishing Chiune Sugihara raises again the questions: What shapes a moral hero? And how does someone choose to save people that others turn away?
Most of the world saw throngs of desperate foreigners. Sugihara saw human beings and he knew he could save them through prosaic but essential action: “A lot of it was handwriting work,” he said.
Day and night he wrote visas. He issued as many visas in a day as would normally be issued in a month.
His wife, Yukiko, massaged his hands at night, aching from…
View original post 142 more words
meaning ‘little one’
my parents called me nho, sometimes
a singular grape
a child so small
plucked from a vine
I was given an English name
so that I wouldn’t get bullied
for such an exotic background
I was reborn for the convenience
meaning ‘child of God’
my mother had two boys she loved
but prayed everyday to have a girl
the third time,
to have her likeness reflected
in such a tiny face
and in December of ’94
I rejected Nhi most of my life
a relic of forgetting myself
of welcoming the parts that were easy
and holding my applause for the parts
I wanted to keep quiet
A single syllable
uttered like a sigh in the night–
why would I try to erase
the love that preceded my birth
and the affection that named me?