34. My Father, Dr. Kang-lu Wang / Alvin Wang

My Father, Dr. Kang-lu Wang

by Alvin Wang

For 3 decades, my father worked to free the Taiwanese people. Because of his advocacy of Taiwanese independence, my father suffered many injustices at the hands of the Kuomintang (KMT). He was blacklisted — prevented from returning to his native land, even to pay his final respects to his mother when she passed away. When he finally did return to Taiwan in 1991,he was jailed for 7 months; adopted by Amnesty International as a political prisoner. After his release, he remained in Taiwan and continued to work for Taiwanese independence.

Although he suffered these great injustices, my father never complained and never lost faith in his vision of a democratic “Republic of Taiwan”. He worked tirelessly and fearlessly for the cause, never asking for anything in return except for the honor of serving the land and the people which he so dearly loved.

He loved all things in nature and valued all life, whether it was the life of an insect or a fellow human being. His compassion was so great that he could love those who others would call the enemy.

My father was never afraid. He was never afraid to stand up for what he believed in and he did not fear the KMT. His courage was only one of his many attributes which made him a great person.

His courage, selflessness, and everlasting faith were not his only attributes. He had the support of many friends and relatives.

My father advocated independence through nonviolent revolution. He knew, just as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi knew, that nonviolent social revolution was the key to success. He was so moved by their teachings that he co-authored a book on the subject. From his deep sense of humanity came his emphasis on truth and purity. In the fight for human tights, my father believed that respect for human life should not be violated. He led by example, not by force, with a combination of patience, modesty, and unending devotion that few posses.

Even though he was all these things and more, above all, he was my father. Although his full-time job and work with the independence movement kept him busy, he always made time for his family. When I was younger, he used to take me to see the New York Mets twice each summer. For 10 years, he took me to my violin lessons every Saturday morning.

After he returned to Taiwan, he was only a phone call away. Although he spent each day in meetings, giving speeches, or just doing paperwork, he would put everything on hold while he talked with us. He often called as soon as he returned home (usually at 2am), tired and exhausted from the day’s work. Last June, he made time to come back to the US for a month so that he could attend my high school graduation and send me off to college.

But being a good father means more than making time for one’s family. My father knew that and he was everything a good father should be. He was patient and soft-spoken, yet steadfast and eager. When I was young, he never ordered me to do something just because he said so. Instead, he always explained his logic and why I should do as he asked. I learned by following his example. He taught me the values and beliefs that he held so dearly by showing me why he believed what he did, but he always let me make my own choice.

In the past two years, I have learned more from my father than I ever have before. But I am still young and have a great deal more to learn from him. Now I will learn from tite ideals and the lessons that he left for us to follow.

Please remember my father, not for his violent death, but for the ideals and beliefs that he worked so hard to further. It saddens me that my father did not live to see the Republic of Taiwan that he so long envisioned. If we follow his example, believe in his ideals, and understand his vision, then together, we can insure that his lifelong dream will come true.

Source form Alvin Wang