“I look forward to each and every day as to what the day brings, what the opportunity can be, how I can make each day progressively better for myself, for my family, for my coworkers, for my constituents, and for my patients, overall.”
Narrator: Welcome friends to another episode of The Story & Experience. Join your host, Japhet De Oliveira with his guest today, and discover the moments that shape us, our families and communities.
Japhet De Oliveira: Welcome friends to another episode of The Story & Experience. Today I am sitting in Adventist Health, Glendale, California. The sun is just rising, so it is early, and I see that the guest sitting across the table from me is ready and raring to go. So if you are brand new to this podcast, we have 100 questions that cover all the stories and experiences that shape you into the leader that you are today.
And today we're going to look at this particular guest and have a conversation and discuss and see where that guest wants to go. They get to choose between 11 and 100, while I'll ask the first 10. So let's begin straight away. I'm going to ask the question, number one. Could you tell us your name and does anybody have any difficulty with pronouncing it?
Kingman Ho: My name is Kingman Ho. I'm the medical officer at Adventist Health Glendale. Although I don't believe that many people have difficulty pronouncing my name, people do find it challenging to ascertain if it's my first or last name.
Japhet De Oliveira: Uh Huh. So Dr. Kingman, do you prefer to be going by Dr. Kingman or Dr. Ho?
Kingman Ho: I prefer to drop the formality. I usually go by Kingman, which is actually my first name.
Japhet De Oliveira: Brilliant, brilliant. All right, well, we'll go by that then, Kingman. So you already shared a little bit about what you do for work. Could you unpack that a little bit for us?
Kingman Ho: Certainly. My responsibilities and duties are to ensure that we have the proper healthcare delivery that provides quality care at an efficient and effective matter for our constituents in the community. So as part of my work, I partner with the hospital associates as well as the medical staff to ensure that, that delivery is consistent and effective.
Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. All right. That's brilliant. In the morning, what's your drink of choice? Do you begin your day with water, with coffee, with some liquid green smoothie or tea?
Kingman Ho: My must have is a shot of caffeine, usually in the form of an espresso, sometimes in a form of Doppio, depending on the activities of the day.
Japhet De Oliveira: I understand. I understand. No worries for that. Now, Kingman, where were you born?
Kingman Ho: I was born in New York City.
Japhet De Oliveira: So you are now on the West Coast instead of the East Coast. Enjoying it?
Kingman Ho: It is a fascinating experience. I'm very much a born and bred East Coaster, but I have traveled across nation in my professional career, landing the Midwest in the Pacific Northwest, and finally down here. And I do have to say this is probably the most sunniest place I have ever had to encounter.
Japhet De Oliveira: That's true. That's true. So when you were a child out on the East Coast in New York City, what did you imagine you going to grow up to be?
Kingman Ho: I always imagined I would grow up to be older, first and foremost. But as the second generation of an immigrant family, the expectation was that I would become a physician, a lawyer, or an engineer.
Japhet De Oliveira: Well, you did one of the three.
Kingman Ho: I did one of the three.
Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. That's great. Is that a good pressure that you had from your family?
Kingman Ho: I'm not sure it was truly pressure, but it was an expectation.
Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. All right. Hey, I like that. I like that, that's great. If people would describe your personality, would they describe you as an introvert, an extrovert, and would you agree?
Kingman Ho: I would have to say I am very much an introvert. I do tend to be fairly introspective, and I would dare say that most people do find my personality as more on the reserved side.
Japhet De Oliveira: Okay, okay. But you meet people all the time and you take care of so many people. So how do you do that?
Kingman Ho: As part of a physician, when I was practicing, engaging patients was really a part of my daily work. So although I may be introverted and introspective, that does not necessarily mean that I cannot engage effectively, charm people every once in a while and really build effective relationships and bonds.
Japhet De Oliveira: Well, you're doing a fantastic job. When you came in and we met this morning, yeah, absolutely. So I'm excited for the way that you can blend between those two spaces. Are you an early riser or late night owl?
Kingman Ho: I do have to say my natural diurnal cycle would tend to make me more of a night owl.
Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. All right. Well, thank you for rising so early today to be able to be here with us. And then here's a leadership question for you. Are you a backseat driver?
Kingman Ho: I find that my arms are not lengthy enough to actually reach the steering wheel effectively. I tend to be much more in a supportive role, and I try to mentor and allow other people to shine in the limelight. But being able to provide the support, the guardrails, the mentorship, is really what I deem to be my primary role.
Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic. All right. Hey, I just missed one question here, and then I'm going to hand over to you. And it was about this morning when you rose and got up, what was the first thing that went through your mind?
Kingman Ho: I need a caffeine.
Japhet De Oliveira: All right. Well, I hope you got your espresso, your Doppio. Hey, let's begin then. So you've got now between number 11 and 100. Obviously, it becomes a little bit more vulnerable and open towards the higher end, but you get to choose anywhere you want to go. Where would you like to begin?
Kingman Ho: Why don't we kind of start with a kind of easy one, say 25.
Japhet De Oliveira: 25, all right, then. Share the most beautiful thing that you've ever seen?
Kingman Ho: I would have to say the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, the smile, the tears that have accompanied my family's welcoming of my child.
Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that is beautiful. Those are treasured moments. Wow. I like that. I can imagine that. That would be great. Right after 25, you want to go up or down?
Kingman Ho: Why don't we go ahead and progress since. Let's say 30.
Japhet De Oliveira: 30. All right. Tell us about something that you're really looking forward to.
Kingman Ho: I look forward to each and every day as to what the day brings, what the opportunity can be, how I can make each day progressively better for myself, for my family, for my coworkers, for my constituents, and for my patients, overall. These are shorter term goals in such. But longer term, my greatest desire really is how to make an impact in such that is more indelible, whether it be for ensuring that my children are successful moving forward and happy, or whether or not I have made a meaningful touch to my patients and my constituents, or whether or not I have made a significant influence in terms of how healthcare is delivered.
Japhet De Oliveira: Those are all amazing and difficult things. That's great. That's great. I'm glad you're looking forward to that and actually shaping this as well. Where do you want to go after 30?
Kingman Ho: Why don't we do 38.
Japhet De Oliveira: 38, all right. If you needed encouragement, who would you call?
Kingman Ho: I dare say that we all experience ups and downs in life. The downturns can sometimes be very deep for some of us, and depending on the situation, can be quite profound. I had the privilege, pleasure, and vast fortune and such to be able to connect with a monk on a very large mountain in South Korea.
Japhet De Oliveira: Wow. Okay.
Kingman Ho: That person remains to this day and such, the person I reach out to should I need inspiration or need a reset of perspective.
Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Hey, that's fantastic. When most people would share that they have met a monk, they don't often share that they've met them on a mountain. So hey, that's fantastic. So is it difficult to get hold of this monk?
Kingman Ho: So I do have to say wifi and internet reception can be a little bit sketchy at times.
Japhet De Oliveira: I wonder why. Hey, that's fantastic. Well, I'm pleased for you. All right. After 38, where would you like to go next?
Kingman Ho: 42.
Japhet De Oliveira: 42. On your phone, I'm hoping that you have a photo, and so I would love you to tell us about the story behind the photo on your phone.
Kingman Ho: Let's see. I'm going to open my phone and see what is on here. Let's see. I have an impressive photo of a trip to Seattle.
Japhet De Oliveira: It also begins with some music.
Kingman Ho: Yes.
Japhet De Oliveira: Very good. I appreciate it.
Kingman Ho: It's quite charming.
Japhet De Oliveira: I love Seattle.
Kingman Ho: It is a remembrance of a visit where family congregated together. We traveled to the San Juan Islands on a nice little skiff and such, and were able to commune with nature. We saw a pod of whales and we landed on one the islands on the beach and had a lovely bonfire, also a lovely dinner. It was a memory that was very much still indelible in my mind.
Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic. I've been to San Juan Islands as well, but I've never had the bonfire on the beach. That sounds absolutely epic. What a great memory. All right, after 42.
Kingman Ho: Why don't we break the 50 mark and go to 54.
Japhet De Oliveira: Right. All right. If your life were a book, what would this chapter be called?
Kingman Ho: Transitions.
Japhet De Oliveira: Transitions.
Kingman Ho: Transitions. Yes. And I do have to say many of those chapters in that book would likely be titled the same.
Japhet De Oliveira: It kind of defeats the titling of the chapters, but yes, okay.
Kingman Ho: Well, yeah-
Japhet De Oliveira: You've had a lot of transitions?
Kingman Ho: I've had multiple transitions. And I find that even when I am in one area, one space, one position, there's always opportunities to evolve and to transition and to develop further. There is nothing that is, in my mind, truly set and concrete. Everything is very much flowing, and there's always need to adjust, evolve, pivot to be able to continue moving forward effectively.
Japhet De Oliveira: So not everybody's comfortable with that kind of life. Some people would love to have things be locked in and know exactly where they are, not experience so much change. Clearly, you are capable of handling a lot of transitions, a lot of changes, all the chapters are called transitioned in your book. What's the secret for that?
Kingman Ho: There is no secret really.
Japhet De Oliveira: There is no secret.
Kingman Ho: There is no secret. What I find is I look at what my overall desired outcome is. And one of my things that I've taught my children and taught my pupils is that at the end of life, you want be able to look back and not have any substantial regrets. Look at what you want to accomplish in your life. And opportunity usually avails itself. It may not always be apparent at the time, but try to ascertain what makes the most sense for the time being and what makes sense for the next step. So being open to understanding, being open to receive, being open to explore, to test, is key. Very few things are irreparable, but being able to ensure that you have proper guardrails so that you can safely make a mistake. It's better to, in my mind, explore, fail, learn from that experience and continue growing.
Japhet De Oliveira: I can tell you've shared this insight before. That's good. That's good. Hey, I appreciate that. I think that'll be good for a lot of people who are listening right now. Where next? That was 54.
Kingman Ho: 67.
Japhet De Oliveira: 67. All right. What is the best picture that you've ever taken and why?
Kingman Ho: So at one point in my life, I was an amateur photographer.
Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, really? Okay.
Kingman Ho: And I did have a few exhibits in the day.
Japhet De Oliveira: Okay.
Kingman Ho: Very small gallery in Baltimore. One of the pictures that still resonates with me was of a singular woman with an umbrella up walking down a alleyway. It was kind of darkish. It was a little bit overcast and a little bit drizzly. But it was a very, in my opinion, a very powerful picture. And it could be interpreted in so many ways. It's about a matter of perspective and how you see the world.
Japhet De Oliveira: Sure.
Kingman Ho: It could be interpreted as a very powerful picture where you have independence and ability to move despite surroundings, despite weather, despite increment circumstances. But it could also be, if you were kind of the mindset and such an emotional draw of the appeal of whether it be solitude, loneliness, it's really allowed everyone to be able to express their internal selves and to be able to understand their own perceptions.
Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. I believe that everybody's creative, and you clearly have articulated well some of that creativity in photography, amateur photography that you said. But interestingly, you had a display. What do you do now to allow that creativity to flow?
Kingman Ho: Although I have dabbled in oil painting as well, and my house is now a gallery of sorts.
Japhet De Oliveira: Okay.
Kingman Ho: Where I innovate most right now is helping my children as well as their peers develop business concepts and bring them to fruition.
Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic. That's fantastic. Love the creative, wide creative experiences. That's great. All right, that was a lot of insight there. So where do you want to go next?
Kingman Ho: Why don't we go for 79?
Japhet De Oliveira: 79. All right. If you would, could you share a painful memory that you wish to forget?
Kingman Ho: So I've many events in my life looking back, that were difficult, that were emotionally draining and painful. I'm uncertain as to whether not any of those I would truly want to forget.
Japhet De Oliveira: Interesting.
Kingman Ho: Because each one gave me a sense of who I was, how I reacted, and how I proceeded in my life, looking at things moving forward. Even the hardest memory fuels something and such and builds something in me and such that molds me and shapes me to what I am today, for better, for worse.
Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic. And there's a lot of wisdom in that. A lot of wisdom in that. Hey, I appreciate it. The stories and experiences, they shape us into who we are. Yeah. All right, after 79, where next?
Kingman Ho: 82.
Japhet De Oliveira: 82. If you could only keep three possessions, what would they be? And a why?
Kingman Ho: And would these possessions have to be concrete things and such?
Japhet De Oliveira: As opposed to a thought?
Kingman Ho: As opposed to a concept, or as opposed to a relationship?
Japhet De Oliveira: Oh. Depends whether you feel you possess the relationship.
Kingman Ho: Yeah. Good point. Good point. I would say that probably the three things, if I were only limited to three things in this world to possess, one, a journal in which I can chronicle my past, my thoughts, my ideas. I would want, if this is not beyond the bounds of possession, the ability to maintain and have the relationships that I do that I value important personally. Some of these are in my mind, irreplaceable. And the third is the ability to continue appreciating the world as it moves forward, whether it be good or bad.
Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. I like that. I sense that relationships are very important to you. Would that be fair?
Kingman Ho: Relationships are critical.
Japhet De Oliveira: Critical.
Kingman Ho: Oh, yes.
Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, yeah. And that they've shaped a lot of your life. Right?
Kingman Ho: They have indeed.
Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. I can sense that. Just in our pre-conversation here as well, I know that you really do value people, so it's beautiful. All right. Where would you like to go next, after 82?
Kingman Ho: My goodness, we're starting to run out of numbers here.
Japhet De Oliveira: Well, maybe.
Kingman Ho: Yeah. 87.
Japhet De Oliveira: 87. All right. When you are under incredible stress, what helps to ground you?
Kingman Ho: Assuming that the internet is on and I can reach the monk, I think what I do with incredible stress and is not necessarily absent in my life at all. There's always uncertainty that pervades, and it's so easy for one to spin stories or possibilities that are fairly nonproductive, that feed the stress even further.
Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.
Kingman Ho: I find that just stepping away, figuratively and literally in such, for a bit, taking multiple deep breaths, sometimes a walk, is extremely beneficial just to reground and reset. Sometimes, even a five to 10 minute kind of break just to really take perspective or to look at what really the bigger picture is and what are going to be necessary steps to be able to move forward is a daily tactic, if not an ongoing effort.
Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's great. That's good. That's good wisdom. I love it. I love it. Good. Where next? We are in the 80s at the moment.
Kingman Ho: It is getting harder. So you do speak truth.
Japhet De Oliveira: I hope so.
Kingman Ho: Yes. Why don't we do 92?
Japhet De Oliveira: 92. Kingman, how would you like to be remembered?
Kingman Ho: I remember in business school and exercise, and I thought at the time it was an incredibly morbid exercise of writing your memorial.
Japhet De Oliveira: Yes.
Kingman Ho: Yes.
Japhet De Oliveira: Yes.
Kingman Ho: Yes. What you have accomplished, what you leave behind, your legacy, and who would actually be in attendance at the memorial. And I remember then, and I still believe this to be true, it is not necessarily the accumulation of things, wealth or material goods that will leave the most indelible testament of one's existence.
Japhet De Oliveira: Right.
Kingman Ho: For me, and this is very personal to myself, it's if I have positively influenced others, if I have made a positive impact, whether it's to my children, to my patients, or to others in the community. Have I been able to touch them in such a way that they have a memory that has led them to a different decision, different path in their lives?
Japhet De Oliveira: I wonder if you would agree with this, but I've heard and I see this as well, that the greatest purpose that we can ever find is to be able to serve. And when we settle in that space, we find that we actually have completion in our life.
Kingman Ho: That is so true.
Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, yeah. I think your passion for the community and for leading others, I think that's a beautiful way to think of yourself to be remembered. I like that. Well, that was 92. We have time for a couple more. So where would you like to go for your last two?
Kingman Ho: Oh, my. I feel like I'm tempting fate if I go further.
Japhet De Oliveira: No, it's a wonderful place. It's a wonderful place. The truth is we all have moments, and you certainly have, with your book of transitions, you have a lot.
Kingman Ho: Yeah. Hopefully that book has multiple chapters yet to be written.
Japhet De Oliveira: Yes. Indeed.
Kingman Ho: Yes. So I will delegate to you.
Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, really?
Kingman Ho: Choice of the next number.
Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, really? Okay. Are you comfortable with 96?
Kingman Ho: It sounds like a very solid number.
Japhet De Oliveira: Sounds like okay. All right. Would you be willing to share with us and tell us the last time that you cried.
Kingman Ho: My daughter, who is 18, is matriculating to university. She has been a joy in my life and is more precocious than she or anyone else should ever be at that stage in life.
Japhet De Oliveira: That's great.
Kingman Ho: In her decision making process as to which university to attend, she took in many factors that I would dare say many of that stage in life would not. My son who's older than my daughter has autism. He's fairly high functioning, but he definitely has needs.
I recall when my daughter was trying to determine which university to attend, she came to me and my wife and told us that to help support my son and the family, that she was willing to go to a university more local and commute so that she can help oversee and help support my autistic son. She has always been the one that has taken care of him and supported him in all his development, even in when they were in school. We had the fortune to be able to send my son to a school that specializes in autistic children development. And she, who is neurotypical, i.e. not autistic, actually volunteer to attend the school with him and such, and spent many of her elementary and formative years helping his development.
Japhet De Oliveira: That's beautiful.
Kingman Ho: Yeah. And when she came to us about that decision or that offer, the pride, the joy, the sorrow, the sadness and such all were overwhelming.
Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, I can imagine.
Kingman Ho: And ultimately, my daughter will be going to University of Washington in Seattle, not because she does not want to shoulder the responsibility of helping with my son, but because this is really in her own development, the best thing for her, so that she can be successful herself long term and continue in her own aspirations, whether that be in her professional life or continuing to support in the family.
Japhet De Oliveira: Kingman, that is a magical moment. That is beautiful and a testament to the character of your daughter and to you as well, and to your wife, as you as a family. I can understand those tears of joy and pride in that moment. That was very kind of her. That's really good. Well, my friend, we are down to the last one. So you really should pick the last number and then we'll wrap up.
Kingman Ho: Well, why don't we end, in that regard, with the bang? Why don't we do number 100.
Japhet De Oliveira: 100, okay. All right. Well, this is question 100, not often gone for various reasons. Would you be willing to tell us about one question that you don't want to answer?
Kingman Ho: I'm contemplating that question, if it is a question of something that I can't answer because I'm unable to do so because I don't know the answer, or because I'm unwilling to be able to answer for the ramifications thereof.
Japhet De Oliveira: Very true. It is a complex one.
Kingman Ho: It is a complex one. Yeah. I think the one question that I would very much struggle to be able to answer, whether it's because of modesty, because of lack of insight or lack of full development yet, as it is still very much a work in progress, who am I?
Japhet De Oliveira: That is a great question. That is a great question. One that we should all be introspective about and seek community. I like that. I like that. Well, that's a great question to think about for everybody who's listening to answer that for themselves. And I want to thank you, Kingman, for your time, for your transparency and your honesty. I think that it's so true that all of these responses are just a snippet of the multiple chapters in your book on the transitions and changes that you're going through all the time. Thank you so much for participating with that.
Kingman Ho: Thank you so much.
Japhet De Oliveira: For everybody who's listening, I just want to encourage you to do the same thing that Kingman and I are doing right now. Sit across a table with each other, preferably have a cup of coffee or tea, and ask good questions, listen. Because in that process, you discover the stories and experiences that shape you and shape them, and you will be a better person. God bless everyone. You take care.
Narrator: Thank you for joining us for The Story & Experience Podcast. We invite you to read, watch, and submit your story and experience at adventisthealth.org/story. The Story & Experience Podcast was brought to you by Adventist Health, through the Office of Culture.