One important lesson that life has taught me: no one gets to where they are all by themselves.
A little backstory: my immigrant parents made their way to America from Vietnam during the War. They came with $20 in their pocket and worked their butts off to build a comfortable net worth for themselves, my sister and me in only 20 years' time. As much as their hard work, determination, and discipline contributed to this, it was also the kindness of strangers who sponsored them to come to America who made it possible for them to even get on their feet.
These people, who had no obligation to my parents, helped them learn English, find jobs, get housing, and even threw together their small wedding.
And now, my parents, who are forever grateful for their charity, managed to retire in their 40's and have been running a small nonprofit organization since then to help pay it forward.
These "strangers" didn't expect anything in return. They weren't rich folk either, but your typical average Joe's. But how they impacted my parents is beyond the dollar amount they gave.
My parents have always stressed the social responsibility to give back when you're in a position to help someone else. And especially now that I am a mother and I think of all the lessons I want to impart on my kids, being kind and paying it forward are some of those things.
As much as I want this blog to replace my day job, the possible freedom to work from home that blogging may allow me is considered a privilege.
That's why I am making the pledge to donate 10% of all monetary earnings to a charitable organization. To set the tone that this blog is more than just a job.
The organization I support is the one that my parents run as full-time, unpaid volunteers. You can read more about the Amitabha Educational Center here.