Angry Reader of the Week: Giles Li

Awwww yeah. Once again, it's time for 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 Giles Li.

Who are you?
Father of two. Husband. Chinatown-based community servant. Former working artist. Old head.

What are you?
I'm the son of two immigrants trying to finally become the person who leads a life that honors their stories.

Where are you?
Boston represent! Specifically, I'm writing this on my lunch break from my office at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center.

Where are you from?
I'm from right here, but I can trace roots back to rural China as well as Macau. Before that, my roots go back to Africa like every other human being who ever lived.

What do you do?
I am trying to do my part in making this world a little less rough for those of us who live in it. I try to do that by serving as the Director of Programs at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, a multi-service organization offering programs that reach 2,300 people a year, including case management for special needs families, parent support groups, college application support for first generation youth, ESOL and citizenship classes for parents and other adults, bilingual early education, arts, sports, more, more, and more. Folks can find out more at www.bcnc.net.

This used to be a hard question because I tried to do so many things that I didn't really do anything. I used to hang my hat on my career as a performing artist. If you search the Internet, you can find evidence that I once did that, but if you're going to go snooping around, I encourage you to check out my intermittent podcast series here, wherein I talk to friends I made during my career in the arts andassume someone out there is listening. Readers of this blog may recognize some names.

What are you all about?
Simple answer: My family and my work.
Complicated answer: My family and my work.

What makes you angry?
I try not to get angry anymore, because I spent too much of my life up until this point being that. It's bad for the heart. I can say, however, that I'm disturbed that nobody seems to be actively trying to figure out how to use all these new technologies more responsibly. If we interacted with each other on the street or on the subway the way we interact with each other online, we'd all be like Kaneda out there.

The biggest test of my patience in recent days has been the way our systems give lip service to social change, but many things do not change. For generations until now, and for many to come, the most vulnerable will bear the brunt of injustice on the daily: the poor, the immigrant and refugee, deportees, prisoners, undereducated. The sick, the old, the young.

This kind of stuff though, it doesn't really make me angry, it actually compels me to overcome my anger and actually put in work toward progress. Anger is useful when it pushes you to take your next step in your journey, but useless when it's your destination.

(photo credit: David Sun Kong)

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