The attainment of a meaningful existence is a one of the most fundamental human desires. While the pursuit for a meaningful existence is universal, the path to achieving it looks different for all people. An important aspect in achieving a meaningful existence is personal enlightenment that is attained through not only a profound understanding of one's own identity through reflection but also an awareness of the environment that has shaped that identity. The purpose of reflection should not be to attach blame or find excuses for the aspects of one's life that are unfavorable or shameful; rather, it should be to achieve the sense of inner peace that is integral in making informed and rational progress towards realizing aspects of an individual's life that bring meaning and happiness. The purpose of the following two sections is to demonstrate how an understanding of group-specific challenges regarding identity and upbringing may help those that identify with Chinese American or immigrant culture in their pursuit of a meaningful and satisfying existence. The first section provides a profile on some of the common issues facing Asian Americans, particularly how an immigrant approach to parenting can affect the degree of acculturation, mental health, and identity of immigrant children. The second section provides a personal backdrop to some of the themes discussed in the first section through an autoethnographic account from a Chinese American student. The purpose of the autoethnographic account is to demonstrate that leisure activities, such as music, can address issues regarding acculturation and identity that Asian Americans commonly face.
- Background Music: Cultivating Identity and Meaning through Music
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