Poverty Cannot Conquer Dreams
——Preface of Andy's book High School Encounter---Seattle
There are no two identical individuals. Similarly, life is different for every person around the world. The things each person has experienced in the past shape who they are today. What one pursues and struggles with his entire life may only turn out to be something that comes naturally to others. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, the narrator says, “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one, just remember that all of the people in the world haven't had the advantages that you've had”. We cannot choose from where we came, but that does not mean we can waive the right to care about the plight of others. The deficiency n the world will always exist, but it does not mean we should give up on providing more people access to their greater happiness. 003 We all grow up differently, but the thirst for knowledge is universal. When I use English as a means to study in American classrooms, I would think of students in distant rural areas of China. Myriad students must walk a few miles to get to their schools, which suffer from limited teachers and facilities.
Sometimes a new book may be a luxury for some schools in extremely poor areas. Thousands of Chinese students now study abroad, but we should not be oblivious to the rural children who are struggling for their lives. Many of them may be extremely talented but are restricted by their resources. As their peer and an international student, I feel obliged to help them realize the greater world that lies beyond their borders. Reading and traveling can both broaden one's horizons; however, reading is a more cost-efficient means, because a good book is the output of the author’s ideas deriving from countless observations, meditations, and conversations. A good book carries the focus of the author’s life. Many students in rural areas get few opportunities to step out of their rural towns, but they can know and understand the broader world through reading. I hope recounting my own adventure provides more people with an idea of life in American high schools to help rural students in China read more literature. Although they may be restrained by resources, they deserve the freedom of thought. Therefore, I will donate 30% of the book’s proceeds to create a reading fund in order to help students in China’s rural areas who cannot afford their own books. Mencius says, “In times of hardship, one should behave 004 himself at first; in times of glory, he should benefit others”. Unequal distribution of resources in the world will exist for a long period, but I am willing to exert myself to help students in provincial areas. If one child changes his or her life, even just a little because of my deed, all my effort will have been worth it. I am satisfied enriching another life, even if only in a subtle way, and I look forward to others with the same belief system contributing and helping students in China’s rural areas have a better future.
Yuhan （Andy） Wang
Jun 1, 2015