When I hear that word, I first think of an old friend’s grandmother from the Philippines. An esteemed woman. The Secretary of Education under Marcos. I believe she was 85 when I met her, and she looked an acted sharper than I do now at 42. I then think of the song by The Kinks, which I only know as the song “Weird Al” Yankovic used to form Yoda. I prefer Weird Al’s version. But after reading this article in The Atlantic, finally getting to it, I have a third definition. Not slave. Though I should think “slave” I won’t. I will think of my own grandmothers. I will think of immigrant sacrifices. I will think of people who are capable of amazing compassion and love when times are rough. Not times…lifetimes. #iamgrateful and #iamthankful to Alex Tizon (RIP) for his final work. Seems fitting. And for his beautiful summary of how to get to the heart of someone’s story. “Somewhere in the tangle of the subject’s burden and the subject’s desire is your story.” Read this. Make it a point.

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