My father is an extraordinary man who recently turned 70. Sadly, his energetic and vibrant existence was dented by the worst experience in his life. Five years ago, he suffered a stroke which left him immobilized and unable to swallow. During my adolescent years, I knew my father as a comic actor with an astounding popularity for acting dead or dying in my home-made comedy movies. He's made frequent appearances on TV as well. Ironically, his reputation made it difficult to convince the general practitioner of his plight. He seemed irrevocably convinced that my father was putting on a charade. On the night of his stroke my mother didn't know whom to believe anymore. As soon as it was dawn, she summoned her children and we rushed my father to the hospital. I was in Beijing on my father's birthday this year. A Chinese fortune teller told me a lot about him, about his dream to become a movie or TV star. I made a film to celebrate his life and we planned a surprise party for him. Sometimes, living in a seemingly utopian world detaches us from our born empathy and sympathy when people talk about their pain. Irrespective of how beautiful our life has been, let’s show compassion when we hear or see the suffering of others. The first of December was a wonderful day for my father. Heartful gratitude to all his family members who helped make it memorable!

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