Good Fortune – Leslie Bratspis

Chinese wisdom secretly passes through handwritten fortunes from Chow Lee Tong to Michael Hamilton, an unsuspecting customer dining at Good Fortune restaurant. Tong is an aged scholar who, in his youth, was tutored by Grandfather in the small Asian village of Tong’s birth. Tong vows to Grandfather he will help others in need when they cross his path. “Good Fortune” is the tale of two men from different cultures that unknowingly become connected as Tong’s pupils. Both learners overcome adversity to achieve enlightenment through journeys of change and discover to achieve happiness, one must look beyond the obvious and have faith in a stronger, unseen source.

The first in need is Michael Hamilton, a formerly successful San Francisco advertising executive whose world shatters when he becomes a casualty of the California recession. Michael faces a bleak future: unemployed, despondent and alone. To pull himself together he must overcome deep emotional obstacles before he can reinvent himself in the business world, and have a healthy love relationship. His pragmatic viewpoint evolves as he learns to accept a broader, unconventional vision of reality.

The second is Wu, respected manager of the family-owned Good Fortune Chinese restaurant, and Tong’s son. Wu enjoys financial security. He has been a loving husband and father, but is at odds with his aging father. Gradually, Wu also becomes distant from his wife and twin boys due to his assiduous attention to business. He sacrifices family relationships in the quest for greater monetary wealth without realizing he is already rich—his fortune is a loving wife and sons.

Visions, dreams, symbols, and Tong’s compassionate heart guide both Michael and Wu in similar ways. Although Michael doesn’t know Tong exists, each time he finds himself at another crossroad he dines at Good Fortune restaurant hoping to receive another guiding fortune. The personal challenges of Michael and Wu are like mirrored images of the Yin/Yang symbol: identical yet reversed. Good fortune is achieved when both realize true contentment is less tied to outward goals than inner awareness.