When I saw the indifference, despondence and even fear in my little cousin’s eyes, I clearly heard the voice from my heart that I should be his company to boost his self-esteem and bring the wonderful life that he deserved to have back for him.
Suffered from a period of infantile autism, Dun seemed to be self-abased, bigoted and sometimes had emotional disturbance. At the end of school term in 2007, aunt told me that he did not do very well in Math so I started to help him with his homework. We spent that summer doing extra math work, and I tried to spark his interest in math by explaining things to him using examples from his favorite activity: Basketball. Once he understood that math had practical value for things in his own life, he was able to catch up to other students. In the fall term, Dun improved his grade from a C to a B. Hearing this news was one of the proudest moments of my life.
Later in the 2008, however, Dun experienced behavioral problems emanated from his inability to control his negative emotions at school, and the school authorities required him to suspend class and even suggested his parents to moved him to a special school. However, Dun told me he wanted to stay and was willing to do anything for a chance to go back. He also admitted that he knew he might get his chance if he could control his anger.
Seeing that Dun needed somebody to help him control his emotions, I aspired that I should give him a sense of security and urged him to reason out the implications of the actions his anger or despair drove him to. I also encouraged him to keep a dog as his pet to develop a sense of responsibility. He listened to and practiced my advice, and by the end of summer the authorities allowed him to return to his old school.
My family love with Dun over the past twelve years is one of my proudest achievements because I have seen the tangible effect my help is having on his confidence and his life. The feeling that I can improve someone else’s life by giving of myself is deeply satisfying. Before helping Dun, I used to divide the world into two parts: good and bad. The Good were the law-abiding citizens like you and me, and the Bad were the criminals we often see on TV being arrested. I firmly believed that all criminals had to be incarcerated and held responsible for their deeds.
But by helping Dun through his behavioral problem, I realized that had all those “bad” people gotten help in their formative years, they might not have chosen the path they did. Because of my experience with Dun, my whole outlook toward society and the world has changed. I no longer believe that incarcerating young people who break the law is the only solution. Though incarceration might help in the short term, the longer-term solution is to take care of the problem proactively. If we all were to devote some time and effort and influence to the lives of the less fortunate, the world would definitely be a better place to live in.
Motivated by the positive impact I had on Dun’s life and the change it had on my outlook, I began participating in other community activities where I can make the world a better place.
I therefore decided to organize a special campaign called “Bartering” which aimed to deliver love and compassion to needy children through a value-added trade exchange process among strangers. My friends greeted my idea enthusiastically, and I soon had three volunteers who were willing to support the cause. Carefully choosing the location, targeting the youth and foreigners, preparing little presents with a heart logo and publicizing on social networks, I made every effort to persuade those cautious strangers to accept my newfangled idea by detailed explaining, and promising them the feedback from donee.
My persistent eventually won me their trust and my team had a big harvest. The sense of achievement overwhelmed me when I witnessed a DIY painted eggshell eventually become a brand new schoolbag. By using the collected money and items, we helped six poor children to buy the textbooks for the coming semester.
To me, success and happiness now means that I could make the best of myself, moreover, influence positively as many people as possible with my knowledge and ability. The change in my outlook that Dun effected opened my eyes to the responsibility. Each of us has to serve our local community, whether it’s down the street or on the other side of the globe.