A Common Illness-Samin Ieong-C2

Today, I am going to introduce to you all an illness which is highly contagious. In fact, unfortunately, people worldwide have been inevitably affected by this disease. Let me start with a brief description.

Firstly, its symptoms vary on each patient, but there’s no doubt that its effects are both physical and mental. Certain parts of our body grow bigger because of this, and there are possibilities that it may even cause one to lose his faith, give up his dream or forget his meaning of life. Secondly, it is incurable. So neither our president Joey, nor any other medical students, doctors, therapists can find a cure.

Sounds scary, right? Till now, can anyone of you guess the name of this illness?……. Well, unlike most medical terms, it is not a difficult word; ‘Growing Up’ is the exact answer, and I myself am one of the victims.


When I was a child, the world is like a playground to me. Trees, flowers, stars, people, and all the other things which are extremely ordinary to us now, were amazing and appealing to me then. I was craving to see more, to know more. My dream was to explore the world and meet as many interesting people as I could.


But as days go by, something started to change. I guess there must be a single moment for each of us to realize the fact that one has to grow up, and it is not always a great thing to celebrate. And mine came during elementary school when one day I surprisingly discovered that my brain was fully occupied by homework, friendship problems and TV dramas that I forgot for how many days I hadn’t looked up to the night sky and exclaimed at the beauty of the stars. That’s it, things once marvelous become normal. We are told to quit dreaming, to get real. Then reality took away the once innocent and naïve us.


During my last year in High School, while my classmates and I were all busy applying for universities, I was continually informed that university is a promise for a good future, which combines a stable career and a satisfactory salary. Those together make a so-called promising future. Then I saw my friends all struggling for the entrance exams or packing their piles of certificates and their eyes all facing the same direction– a reachable goal ahead of them; but where will time lead us to eventually? Once again, we are told to get real. My boldness, that eagerness to have exciting adventures gradually vanished. Fear took the place and we follow the crowd. Remember how we used to think that growing up would give us so much freedom? However, it only strangles us deeper with the reality, hatred, and those endless desires growing inside us.


“What can we do now?” You may ask. No one can reverse the time and stop growing unless we find Peter Pan in reality or invent a time machine. Like what I said, this is incurable. But luckily, we ourselves can decide the symptoms. My speech today is served as a reminder. Likewise, you can always remind yourselves that that choice of how to live a life always remains within all of us. It’s just that we lost the map to that power of choice, that power of creativity, that power of dreaming and it is only up to us to find it again.


Days ago, I casually flipped through the old photos, and I saw this one. The little me trying to make a V sign with my clumsy fingers. It tells me that nothing started out easy. Look at that smile! Happiness is never difficult to find. The world is indeed a playground. We all knew it when we were a child, but somewhere along the way, we all forget it. So get back that twinkle in your eye. Get back the ability to dream. As things don’t change, only we do. TME.




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