Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Guest Post from blogger The Notorious MLE: the Chinese superheroes in my neighborhood

I first met Emily when she was in high school. She's not in high school anymore, of course, but at the time she was in the youth group at my church, and I was one of the youth workers. She's always been an exceptionally interesting person, and her blog is great. When I asked Krista for some people she thought should be guest posting here, she specifically mentioned Emily. So, first there's a short intro from Emily, and her post follows! Enjoy!

Hi everybody. My name is Emily and I blog over at www.notoriousmle.com. My blog is a narrative blog detailing whatever is on my mind: usually a combination of tacos, book reviews and stories about life. It's an honor to be guest posting in the company of so many talented writers. Thanks for having me!

Elderly Chinese superheroes are the rulers of my neighborhood. Everyday at 10 am they emerge from their houses to engage in their daily powerwalk/do-gooding.  Most days I’m at work so I don’t see them but I come home to the legacy of their daily kindnesses: the garbage cans put away neatly up and down the street, the stray trash coralled in the compost bins and the mysterious dissapearance of any weed that dares show it’s face. They are a true blessing. When I come home from work I want to weep with joy when I see that I don’t have to drag in the garbage cans.

Some of the superheroes go above and beyond. My favorite neighbor is Mrs. Kwong. Mrs. Kwong does not limit her heroism to physical tasks, no, no no! She is aggressively kind. On Sundays I sometimes see Ms. Kwong on her way to church. As she passes by my house she always stops to say hi. Her English is not good but that does not stop her from spreading joy. Last time I saw her she stopped in front of me grabbed my shoulders and shouted “You VERY PRETTY! You baby a good boy!” She shouted these words at me in the way that old Chinese ladies do while presenting me with the biggest purest smile I’ve ever seen.

Her compliment made my day but that’s not why she is a superhero.

She’s a superhero because she is bigger than the anxieties, fears and self-pity that plague so many. Ms. Kwong doesn’t sit around saying “Oh, I can’t say hi, I don’t speak good english” or “Nobody cares about me because I’m old and have a limp” or “I’m embarrassed to open my mouth cause my teeth are a little funky.” No, Ms. Kwong doesn’t deal with that crap. She barrels around our neighborhood assaulting passerbys with a kindness that comes from a selfless simplicity of heart.  I pray that we can each be a little more like her: less absorbed with our own “shortcomings” and more delighted by what we can give to others.  Take it from a very PRETTY GIRL; it’s a beautiful way to be.


  1. "...less absorbed with our own 'shortcomings' and more delighted by what what we can give to others." I will take that with me, along with the image of Mrs. Kwong barreling around the neighborhood.

    Great post!

  2. I love this post. Love. And I love the advice in it. I will try and not think of why not today and itstead by like Mrs. Kwong and embrace life and kindness!! And I will try and do it loudly.

  3. Lately I've been trying to be bigger than the little worries, shortcomings, fears... People like Mrs. Kwong inspire me in such a big way. So pure, simple, strong- and a zest for LIFE and others. Great post Em :).