Updated: Aug 14, 2019
In our Live Longpath spotlights, we like to celebrate a member of our community who demonstrates what it means to live future-conscious. By learning from each other, we can all commit to becoming great ancestors. This week, we're spotlighting Sara Porrit who has attended our last three Longpath.Gathers.
Longpath: What are some ideas or stories your parents shared with you, or showed you through their life experiences, that have shaped who you are today?
Sara: There’s a widely used term in the Chinese language called “zuo ren” which loosely translates as “to be a person”. Growing up in Xiamen, on a little tropical island off the southeast coast of China, my mom would often use that phrase whenever she was referring to the way that we should treat others. While she never explicitly described what it meant to “be a person”, it was implied in the ways that she used the term.
So how did mom and I “zuo ren”?
Autie Yi Ma is coming to visit us this weekend and she’s having a really rough week. We have to show her care and compassion and listen intently to what she has to say. Or…
Our neighbor has shown us great kindness by bringing us oranges when she didn’t have to, and barely has the means. She’s very good at “zuo ren” and has a big heart. Let’s make sure we pick something up for her from the market, and remember to greet her with a warm smile.
I don’t think I understood the magic behind this thinking until I grew older and really realized the value of it. To suggest as a culture that being a person means to be compassionate, to nurture a community, to showcase kindness to others is something that I couldn’t be more proud of. It’s something that I carry with me.
Longpath: What are your hopes for future generations?
Sara: I hope that future generations acknowledge and embrace their own greatness without abandon while treating themselves, the earth and other human beings with care, love and respect.
Longpath: How will your family members remember who you were, 100 years from now?
Sara: My family members will remember me as the crazy old lady with far out ideas who lived a life without fear. They’ll remember me as someone who’ll try anything to gain a new perspective, and someone who will find what’s good in the darkest of places.