September 15th this year marked the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival in the Chinese calendar. What exactly is the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival? Aside from the commercial opportunities of this day (in fact, anyone who has recently taken a walk down a shopping aisle in a Chinese grocery store, especially between August and September 15th, must have seen stacks of beautifully decorated moon cake boxes imported from every Asian supplier under the sun), it is also a time to get together with your family and loved ones. The Chinese are well known for being fiercely protective of the family unit; it is the sole purpose for which generations of Chinese have been taught to live and work. Filial piety is a value passed down from the days of Confucius. Whereas the Chinese New Year is something else altogether, the Moon Festival is a much more low key event, and it is one of those days that does not garner much media coverage, at least not in the Western world. But it is celebrated in millions of Chinese households around the world.
We celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival by eating moon cakes with our family members while sitting under the moon. Like many people, I see the Moon Festival as a time for reflections. I think about how lucky I have been my whole life to have a supportive family. Even after more than 30 years I have been alive, the fact that we are together provides me with a sense of security. I am who I am today because of my family and what they have taught me. Every day that I am alive, I feel grateful that I was born with an upper hand. It is because of my family that I can embrace the world and learn to love different types of people. In the unpredictable world we live in today, my life has been rather stable, a far cry from what I have witnessed in the lives of others who have not been as fortunate.
But life can get pretty hectic. In a world with too many distractions, we too often forget about our loved ones. I think every day should be a Moon Festival. Despite our busy schedules, is it really too much trouble to make a few minutes a day to spend with our loved ones and also listen to their worries? Yes, life is hard and often unfair to you. But it is not just you with these worries. Often, to our surprise, the person who loves you the most and seems to be the strongest character you know also has concerns and fears, but they don’t want to weigh you down because they love you. So sit down and talk to them, even just for a few minutes after a hard day at work. Better yet, have a moon cake while you are at it!