Dear Evna,

Today marks your first year of being on this earth, and I'm extremely grateful you're finally now in my life. You've taught me so much on being gentle, kind and happy. You've warmed the hearts of those around you. That of which is your greatest gift. A gift you must hold on dearly. Papa wrote you this letter hoping you would grow up to be happy and inspired.

You're born in a wonderful world; a world full of wonders, love, and knowledge. It is where we all came from, where we'll live, and where we all belong at the end of our journey. While wonderful, a star can only shine in the darkness. We all must navigate through our life paying extra attention to the negativities in life. It is not so we can judge. It is not so we can cower in fear. It is so we can stand firm and save others from misery in order to create a better world. We will never step on others to make us feel superior. We will never squander precious resources produced by this earth or by others. We borrow space and time to live on this beautiful planet to do one thing — to help each other in order to make the world a better place. Through life, you must slowly contemplate the meaning of altruism. Do not be discouraged by its paradoxical nature; everything in this world is. Altruism does not dictate us to conform to things of popular acceptance. Be perfect, be your best when no one is looking. We are what we do; we are what our thoughts make us. Lie, and you will unintentionally attract those who deceive. Love, and those of greatness will follow.

The world is getting sick, and that sickness is envy. People trade their lives for numbers on the screen only later to use that number to buy more time on this earth. They spend money they don't have on things that they don't need to impress people they don't like. People are forgetting where they came from, and where they ought to bring changes in the world. While everyone plays this game of envy, no one enjoys it even those who are good at it. Meditate daily so you can learn the secret of the world — your own heart. Deep inside our hearts contains all that is beautiful. Heed our ancient teachers and look into nature for the truth; it too holds the answers to our world. Respect and love yourself, so you can one day learn to respect and love all others. That is what we'll do to make people realize how wonderful this world is. Exercise daily and eat healthily so you can always remain in your utmost mental and physical state. That way, you can stand even in your darkest moment and fly when opportunities arrive. Live for as long as possible, so you can serve as long as possible. Be 40 when you're 80 not 80 when you're 40.

If in your teenage years, and you find yourself troubled by love, you ought to forgive and be grateful of those who cause you harm. Do not be angry for everyone is fighting a hard battle. Never take things personally or hold grudges. Everyone cares for only one person in this world — it is themselves. If people lash at you, it is because they are angry at themselves, and there will be a million reasons why they may be angry at themselves, so you must try your hardest to understand why they are in pain; how much pain you received from them is usually how much pain they are suffering. In time, if you're becoming anything like your father, you'll discover a gift. A gift to see into people. Use it to witness pain in others' laughter and strengths in humble words. You must also learn the language of the eyes, face, arms, legs, and body for those things don't lie while words do. To bring changes to this world, you must influence people without them ever knowing it is you who inspires such a change. It is what our ancient teachers want us to do. So do not crave for fame. Share them. A leader is someone who makes others better than you are. True leadership is getting something done because others want to do it. True leadership is to serve not to control. Love those who don't love you back. Let no one pull you to their level for you to hate them back the same way. We cannot fall to their levels if we want to climb higher.

On friends, be sure you only acquaint yourself with those who are better than you and help those who are lesser than you. Remember that character is defined by how you treat those who can do nothing for you. Do not admire someone because of his title. Do not look down on someone because he possesses less. Imagine everyone including you as a billionaire or an inspired leader like Gandhi. That way, you'll treat them as so, and slowly they will become so. Love everyone as if they are your children including those of old ages for you're immortal. It is true that we will live on this earth forever. We learned the wisdom from people before us centuries ago, and we will build and teach things that will last for generations. So, live as someone who would never cease to exist. That way, you'll see that whatever cannot be accomplished in this life, we will have future generations to finish it. We don't live just for ourselves, our family, nations, but for the world and humanity. Serve the world, not because one day the world will serve you back, but because our bloodline will eventually become so mixed in the future that our blood will merge into the world population. In this case, being either altruistic or selfish dictate us to do the same thing — to treat everyone as one of our own. Be frugal but not stingy or greedy. That is of great differences. Those who give become rich not just with fortune but in life. Those who are greedy and fearful will lose what they hoard. Love is boundless, so don't hold back.

Walking through the trees, breathing its air, looking at the squirrels gathering lunch, watching the birds fly made papa realized one thing during a trip to Yosemite one time — everything in nature helps each other be it in the form of play, survival, or death. Creatures, plants or things that don't contribute to others, extinct. Those things that contribute to this circle of life, thrive. If you're persuaded by the media or others around you that you shall not bear a child in the future and believed it, then I had failed as a father for you had no purpose in this society and our bloodline and our way of life would soon extinct.

On being a parent, regardless of your titles and fortune, you must raise your children on your own. It is not the duty of a mother. It is the duty of a human. The only way any person can learn to speak a language without a foreign accent is to learn such language early. When building a relationship with your children, it should not be any different. You must endure the repetitive nature of such a task. You must thrive on the time spent on mindless chores which no one may appreciate. You must remain resilient through the screams or whatever challenges your toddler may bring forth. If you don't have enough time, can you manage your life better to do more each day? Can you stay inspired calmly bring peace to your children's tantrum? Can you utilize reward and punishment brilliantly to instill discipline and inspire laughter? Can you motivate them to learn without forcing them to do so? To raise a child is leadership training in the highest form. It only happens once in a lifetime, so do not yield to the easy life and hire help. To desire laziness or retirement is to wish you could end your life early. Do not avoid hardships in life. Seek challenges.

On being a daughter, you must observe how your mother and I treat your grandparents. Treat your mother and me the same way, and your children will one day respect and love you just as much. To obey your parents is not the same as listening to them blindly. You must treasure their ways and teachings though if one day they'd deviate from the good paths, you must remind them gently of the good ways with the utmost respect. Allowing them to lose temper, to pursue unjust acts or inspire evil is most unforgivable. You must do all that you can to help them become their best. Do not let your ego cloud your definition of respect because their intentions will always be noble and of love.

On greatness, remember well what Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Do not procrastinate although it may seem appealing and time efficient to do things at the last moment. In such a fashion, your accomplishment and the things you learned would soon be lost. In time, you've wasted more time pushing yourself to get a perfect score on a test to please others than you would learn habitually on a subject each day for yourself. For the things you want to do for the rest of your life, start immediately and do a little of it each day. You cannot eat a month worth of food just so you don't have to eat for that entire month. For things you want to accomplish temporarily, stop because they will not last. Understand that there's nothing worth achieving if it can be done easily.

Be happy so you can inspire. Be cynical, so you can enlighten. Be strong, so you can lead. Be vulnerable, so you have compassion. Fail so you can grow. Succeed so you can instill hope. Laugh so you can live long. Cry so you remember you're still human.

It's been one of the best years of my life having you as a daughter. We're very lucky to have you in our lives, and I cannot wait for our journeys ahead. Together we'll laugh, we'll endure, we'll fight, and we'll dream. Remember papa's words. Live long and be happy. Papa is very proud of you and will always love you.

Happy birthday.

Love,
Papa, Chase Lin, 6/25/2016