From the Personal to the Universal: Discovering Common Ground in the Journey of Dr. Ming Wang
Dr. Ming Wang, Harvard and MIT (MD, magna cum laude), PhD (laser physics), is a world-class cataract and LASIK eye surgeon, philanthropist, and community activist. He is the founding director of the internationally known Wang Vision Institute in Nashville and the Wang Foundation for Sight Restoration. The latter performs free sight restoration surgeries on patients in the United States and around the world. He is also a cofounder of the nonprofit organization, Common Ground Network, which works to help people find common ground and solutions to problems so they can have successful and fulfilling lives.
Dr. Wang’s story is one that is unique to him. At the same time, it mirrors the experience of many Chinese youth during the Cultural Revolution, other Chinese immigrants to the United States, and anyone who has ever had to fight to achieve their dream. His is a story of hardship, loss, struggle, perseverance, faith, and courage: one we can admire, empathize with, and learn from.
While in his teens, Dr. Wang narrowly avoided a sentence of hard labor and poverty in a remote area of China, the fate of many Chinese youth during the Cultural Revolution. Buoyed by his family’s encouragement and spurred on by his own determination, Dr. Wang escaped to America. Here, against extraordinary odds, he went on to study at, and graduate from, Harvard and MIT, ultimately establishing himself as an esteemed eye surgeon.
Dr. Wang has received numerous awards including the Honor Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Association of Chinese American Physicians, an honorary doctorate degree from Trevecca Nazarene University, NPR’s Philanthropist of the Year Award, and being named Kiwanis Nashvillian of the Year for his lifetime dedication to helping blind orphan children from around the world.
Dr. Wang chronicles his remarkable journey in his autobiography, From Darkness to Sight, which has been made into a film from Universal Studios called Sight. The movie, starring Terry Chen and co-starring Greg Kennear, has had exclusive previews in New York; Orlando; Philadelphia; Washington, DC; Chicago; Minneapolis; New Jersey; Southern California; Northern California; Atlanta; North Carolina; Denver; Pittsburgh; Houston; Dallas; Austin; Seattle; New Haven; South Dakota; and Kansas City, with Dr. Wang in attendance at each screening. Before the year is out, the movie will have been previewed in Maryland, Oregon, Boston, Las Vegas, and Indianapolis as well. Dr. Wang’s goal is to ultimately present the movie in 50 states. The official premiere is Friday, October 27, 2023.
Sight chronicles Dr. Wang’s struggles in China; his immigration to the United States; his university years; his progress as an eye surgeon; and, ultimately, taking on the seemingly impossible task of helping a blind orphan see again. In order to accomplish the latter, it becomes clear that Dr. Wang has to reconcile with his own difficult past, with which he has never fully come to terms. The movie has already garnered global recognition and won the 2022 IVCM Crown award for Best Theatrical Release Feature Film.
Through the lens of a camera, the experiences of Dr. Wang, and the actors who tell his story in the movie made about his life, we can see something of ourselves, our own struggles, and the challenges of the world we live in today. Dr. Wang’s triumph over his past and seemingly impossible adversity, and his reconciliation with himself, offer us a way forward in our own lives to overcome the hurdles we face to achieve our dreams.