Cindy 褚建华 200110511
During the past eight years, she could not help looking out from the window of her home after dinner. The sky, occasionally speckled by a flock of crows or sparrows passing by, listened to most of her frustration in winter, her wonderful expectation in spring, awe in fall, and comfort in summer. It was the long rest that healed her both in body and mind.
Now, eight years later, still looking from a window, but this time from the window of a classroom, she gazes at that familiar sky and some strands of clouds. She looks down on the schoolmates wandering on the long paths and a car driving past slowly, whose driver seems a little tired after a long spring day, and so is she. After dinner on campus, she feels a little uneasy, and her soul is caught with the dynamic spring bouncing back.
When she looks horizontally, a stout fir stretching its body to the height of 5th floor gently speaks to her, “Long time, no see.”
She wonders, “You...... can speak? Have we ever met before?”
“Yes, of course; what a bad memory! 12 years ago, you planted me in your primary school, and then they transplanted me onto this campus. You see, I’ve been waiting for you for a long time.”
“Oh, really?” She still has no clue of what it said. However, the fir reminds her of the inner struggle before making the final decision of which school to choose one year ago. Though with a desire to become a teacher from her early childhood, she still rejected to make the Liaoning Normal University her first choice. She kept wondering what other ways of living could be if she’d enter another more professional foreign language university; that’s why she came here and met this old friend.
Life is like a night of stars. You’ll never know which one guides you. Countless dots connect one’s life.
Now the sun is moving closer to us in the Northern Hemisphere. The mild heat and dim light continuously accompany her and add more energy to the girl.
“Oh, I have something new to tell you, I might go out for a trip and have a look at the sea that I have admired so long.” She scarcely holds back the excitement and impulse.
“That must be exciting; don’t forget to take some warm clothes. I know the climate here is better than that of your hometown, but weather is unpredictable.”
“So considerate of you. If I have no one to talk with, will you always be here to listen to me?”
“Of course, but my body tends to tilt and might be destroyed by summer thunder and lightning one day.”
“That’s what life is—something we can’t drive at will?”
“Yes, and that’s why youth is universally acknowledged as much more valuable than anything else.”
During the three-day holiday, eventually, her dream comes true. She runs, laughs, and screams with her friends. Though the temperature goes up slowly, the sea reflects the blue sky stirring her to make some more detailed plans about her new life.
First, she has to know herself well.
Before coming to this university, she regarded herself as a mature adult: tolerant of everything, ignoring others’ lives, viewing health first. No various clubs, no student union positions, and no boring activities cramped her freedom but only caring about her own study and immersing into the regular lectures and books she craved for.
However, she finds it hard to ignore the sour and uncomfortable strands of feelings when she observes that her new friends have cheated on a regular test; angry and even furious. She recollects what she had done on a math test in her primary school, but it doesn’t help anything. Still confused, disappointed, down, and even mad, she has no humor to continue her morning lecture. She must let it out.
Then on the foggy and humid night, without stars, she diverts after a night class to the “old friend”.
“Could you tell me why I’m so angry as an adult?” It’s hard to begin the subject, but she opens her mouth.
“Ok, there is a saying in the Buddhism: Clean Addiction. It lectures that if you can’t be tolerant of others’ doing and so-called “wrong behavior”, you are wrong.”
“I’m not a Buddhist.”
“No one is perfect. You have to keep that clear: you are not perfect, either. Don’t be virtuous because it’s impossible. Sometimes, making some mistakes is an essential part of your youth.”
“But why do they still make such foolish mistakes in their twenties?”
“To speak frankly and simply, do you agree everyone should be the same, from characters to habits?”
“That’s the point, and everyone has their own growing route and stages and also various ways to survive. For this thing, you think you’re better than everyone? Couldn’t bear anyone’s grades being higher than yours?”
“I’m afraid so, now.”
“Definitely, in the exam system, you fit yourself into the exam frames, only grades and scores. It’s your habits and growing stage that light your anger”
“OK, you really hit me. But another question: why do I obey the rules? No one cares.”
“Well, you’re trapped by your own narrow mind. There is gloominess in your mind which has been covered for years.”
“My mind is narrow? I’m tolerant all the time.”
“That’s the fancy you make up. In truth, your tolerance is a mask shown to others which leaves the impression that you are kind and generous.”
“You think I’ve been cheating myself for years?”
“You’re living in a highly-competitive society; it’s a fact. You once supposed to live a simple life, even becoming an insular person. But now, you understand that it’s impossible. To get a chance, you must take endless exams, big or small; you must balance your energy and evaluate your strengths. You worry that someone will pass you by hook or by crook someday, while you have exhausted yourself and lost the direction and confidence to continue your dream. It’s the real worry deep in your heart. As for the reasons that you choose to obey the rules made by humans, it’s a matter of who you want to be.”
“I’m afraid that honesty may hold back my dream.”
“Oh, I wonder if you believe in fate. Everyone has their own fate, not from God, but from themselves—their habits. What they’ve done creates what they are.”
“You can penetrate me to see that I want to be a better self?”
“In what way? It’s tricky to say?”
“Both material and spiritual.”
“First, quit your ‘Clean Addiction’ and focus on yourself. You have to admit that you’re the kind of person who excessively observes others’ lives all the time. Sometimes, too much care leads you going beyond your own life. Peering into others’ lives does no good but makes a mess for yourself.”
“Don’t worry about your ability, even if you’re not as young as them, you’re smart enough to finish the courses and get your diploma.The most crucial dot is your ambition. You are old enough to plan what kind of life you want to live, what kind of abilities can be cultivated, and then what kind of hobbies to develop. Take your long-term vision, please.”
“Seems that I need to read more philosophy books.”
“No harm, but doing is better than reading.”
“Thanks, I’m comfortable again.”
“If I never find my love and just live by other’s standards, how should I be?”
“I bet you dislike math?”
“How did you know that?”
“You lack basic analysis; that’s your gene, no way to change.”
“Why be so cruel?”
“See, that’s the point. Believe in nature and instinct; before you find it, be yourself. I’m sleepy; go back to sleep. Today’s energy if consumed.”
“Have a sweet dream!”
“That’s for me.”
“Good enough, humor comes back.”