“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Filial piety. My deep reverence for my parents is captured in this Confucian philosophy. But I can no longer live for them.

I used to stake out with my dad in our auto body shop, fending off armed burglars from stealing car radios and alloy wheels. I experienced firsthand my parents’ struggles.

I would do anything for them. In high school, I noticed my mom’s health declining with lack of exercise. I was determined to gift her a Wii Fit. I drove to twenty Best Buy stores to buy and resell the fitness game for a profit on eBay. I beamed when she praised my creative business sense.

However, as I embark on my personal journey, I cannot always make them proud. As I pursue my passion for entrepreneurship and building newer companies, I can sense their disappointment when they cannot brag to their friends with well-known company names. Filial piety has driven me to my current accomplishments, but can be a barrier to fulfilling my lifelong aspirations.

Someday, they will not be here. I will not be able to rely on their validation. I hope that they trust my decisions, however untraditional they may seem, and are unconditionally proud of me.

— Wilson Kyi