The humility and simplicity of Gandhi, the raw moral courage that characterized Martin Luther King Junior, the wisdom and introspection of Confucius, and the integrity that was Abraham Lincoln. All men were brought up in different countries, in different homes and situations but in the same world with its myriad of ideas. They all faced adversity growing up, like wind and storm pushing down the small seedlings which begin to sprout. But they struggle their way up, until the flower of their teachings bloom and their fragrance and beauty spread to those around them. The wisdom that spreads through their ideas knows no bounds, does not discriminate ethnicities and races. Wisdom can reach every corner of this world. The teachings of these philosophical men can intersect to form a prosperous nation. If I were President, I would see myself as an important link in the global village that is our world.
As an Asian-American, I often struggle within my mind. My Asian heritage and the American way I grew up are always pushing and pulling at each other. But in my deepest thoughts I realize that these ideas do not really contradict, but complement each other. Though not everyone may know it, the success of a nation does not depend on whether the ideas it is based on originate in the nation itself. The Asian principle of filial piety can enhance Dr. King’s ideal of mutual respect and unconditional love. The Western principle of individual equality can supplement the Asian teaching that all men are equal in Divine eyes. The confluence of east and west can usher in the Asian-American Renaissance … a period of collective knowledge and enlightenment.
The Gandhi and Confucius in me are my silent guides. They tell me I cannot live in a grand mansion while the lady down the street is struggling to make ends meet. I would be the President who does not live in the White House, but the President who helps feed the homeless in her neighborhood; the President who lives next to the immigrant from Mexico who struggles to make an honest living in this new country. I would be the President who lives like the people, with the people, and for the people.
The Lincoln and King in me guide me on my path in leading this country to liberty affirmation and leading the citizens to realize their bold streaks of individuality and the spirit of resistance they possess within them.
As a great guru once said,
“If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home.
When there is harmony in the home, there is order in the nation.
When there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world.”
If I had the privilege of being the President of the United States of America, I would promise to bring righteousness to the heart and peace in the world.
Divya Prakash is from Fremont. She attends Challenger School in Ardenwood and is a rising seventh grader. She is a 1st Place essay contest winner in the grade category of 6-8.
President Obama has made history as our first African American and mixed-race president. As he embarks on his second term in office this year, Growing Up Asian in America contestants were asked to imagine they have become our very first Asian or Pacific Islander American president.
Growing Up Asian in America is a signature program of the Asian Pacific Fund, a Bay Area community foundation established to strengthen the Asian and Pacific Islander community in the Bay Area by increasing philanthropy and supporting the organizations that serve our most vulnerable community members. You can also view the winning entries online atwww.asianpacificfund.org.