Angry Reader of the Week: Eddie Lee

Hello again! It is time. I would like you to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Eddie Lee.

Who are you?
Mother Teresa once said, life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get. Or maybe that was someone else. But here's my point: as long as I could remember, I wanted my life matter in some big way, and I'm willing to try as many chocolates as it takes until I get there. But that's okay because I really like eating chocolate. When I was four years old, I was Batman for Halloween so that I could fight the bad guys. And again when I was five years old; this time because it was cheaper for my parents. In elementary school, my favorite movie was Forrest Gump because I wanted my life to be like his. In middle school, I slow danced with six girls at the winter social. That's when I stopped being that shy kid in class. In high school, I missed out on the Harry Potter phenomenon because I was set on only reading biographies. But I pretend like I know what people are talking about when they discuss the epidemic of hog warts. In my junior year of college, I skipped classes for two and a half weeks to run for student body Vice President. I lost by a lot, but in the process I fell in love with politics. That fall, I dropped out of school to work for the Obama campaign as his new media producer (don't worry, I would return after the election to finish my degree). I learned how to make videos by following Barack Obama to his events and posting them on YouTube. After he won, I followed him to the White House, where I worked as the Director of Asian American outreach. Six months ago, I left that job to start a nonprofit organization called the Jubilee Project.

What are you?
I'm a child of God and I know He's got a plan for me. I'm the son of two of my biggest heroes, because they show me that impossible is nothing. I'm an older brother to my best friend. I'm a filmmaker who fell in love with movies as a kid after spending days at a time at the movie theater (because my parents couldn't afford a babysitter). I'm a recovering golf addict. I'm a romantic who's willing to take salsa lessons if that's what it takes. But I try to keep my distance from Korean dramas. I'm an idealist, almost to a fault. I'm a misfit who doesn't seem to really belong anywhere, but who has learned to be okay with that. I'm a Jubileever who believes that doing good is contagious. I'm a radical, slowly learning to surrender his life to a greater purpose.

Where are you?
As children of two professors, my brother and I got used to having to move a lot throughout our lives. I have lived in 12 cities. I'm a midwesterner at heart with the craziness of an east coaster, who's beginning to realize he was meant to be on the west coast. I currently live in Irvine, California. But I find my home in the relationships I have with my family and friends who have come along on this crazy journey we call life.

Where are you from?
I lived the longest in Kansas. Some of you may have seen it on a map somewhere. If you're looking for a suburban town sheltered away from the dangers and brokenness of the world, this is the place to be. It's a great state to raise your kids if you want them to get into an Ivy League school because there really is nothing else to do besides study. You can get your drivers learning permit at the age of 14, because the tractors on the road don't drive so fast. And all the kids turn out pretty normal, not really veering too far from the beaten path. It's the best place to live. But that's the reason I was so eager to leave when I did.

What do you do?
I'm a filmmaker. Well, I make videos on YouTube. Recently, my brother Jason and I quit our jobs and my friend Eric took a leave from Harvard Medical School to start the Jubilee Project. The reason we named our group Jubilee Project is because the Bible describes a Year of Jubilee, a year when debts are forgiven, injustices are made right, our brokenness is healed and hope is restored in the world. With that vision in mind, we make videos for a good cause. We believe that stories can change the world and inspire people to use their gifts to help others. We aspire to be a source of providence for those who need help, and an encouragement to those who simply need a reason to smile. We've produced 89 videos so far on issues like Sex Trafficking, Anti-bullying, Autism and the hearing impaired. And we are now working on a documentary that will focus on ending AIDS. When you have some time, we'd love to share some of our stories with you:

Love Language
The Last Pick
Picture Perfect
Back to Innocence
Dear Daniel
50 People 1 Question
For All the Times

What are you all about?
I'm all about living radically. I spent most of life living the life my parents expected of me. I wanted to be a doctor, then later a lawyer, because I believed that was where I'd find my fulfillment. But I've come to realize that I was wrong. As a generation of young leaders, we live in a time when we can do crazy things. Like, really crazy. Some nerdy kid from Harvard started a thing called Facebook and changed the way we socialize. Some 15 year old girl in Pakistan started a blog that fought for women's rights. She was shot in the head by the Taliban who were intent on killing her and silence the movement. But she survived and has become the face of a revolution. What makes them such a force for good is their decision to put aside their own egos and even fears to live without abandon. In the eyes of many, they looked foolish. Why would anyone drop out of Harvard to start some website? Why did she have to be so outspoken about this cause?

But they believed they had within themselves the power to do something extraordinary. They bucked the trend, and set off on a path few of us have the courage to follow. That's what I want for my life. I've got a lot of fears, and still a lot of insecurities. But I also have this weird conviction that amazing things can happen when I learn to let them go and live radically. So that's what I'm all about, living radically.

What makes you angry?
I don't get angry easily. But what bothers me is apathy. I believe we were all meant to do extraordinary things with our lives. The thing that often holds us back is our need for comfort and stability. It makes sense. In some ways, that's the essence of the American Dream. But if we want to make a real difference in this world, we have to find the urgency to care for those around us. Even if that means taking risks that force us beyond what's safe. Because when we live to make the lives of others better, we find meaning in our own.

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