This I Believe

Wonik - Seoul
Entered on July 12, 2007

My mom always tells me I was born “normal.” As a matter of fact, I have been a small guy my entire life. My dad often recalls how he couldn’t take any good pictures of me in my middle school graduation because I could not be seen in a row full of tall kids. That gap, as time went on, grew larger and larger, and now I am about one foot shorter than everybody else. Since I was in pre-school, my nickname ranged from the “Shorty,” “Small Peanut,” to “Midget.” However, I did not let my small size hinder me. My parents convinced me that I am capable of doing anything despite of my height. “All Mafia bosses are short,” they used to tell me to boost up my confidence.

I wanted to prove that a short guy can do something big. I became outspoken and more expressive against those who called me a “small kid.” I refused to shy away from people or avoid eye contact. I argued that “Short peppers are hotter,” and “Napoleon was short, but still conquered Europe.” I decided to become a kid who may be short in stature but is big in heart. Eventually, my size became something I took pride in.

Last spring break, my mom asked me if I wanted to go to a height clinic or take a Chinese medicine that helped me grow. I firmly objected to her suggestion and replied defiantly, “I am who I am, and I am five feet five tall.” I am proud of my height. The “bullies” who used to make fun of my height are now my best friends, and they call me a “short but strong” kid. Even though I am small, I still live by the motto, “change the world.” Some may say, “How can this small kid do something big in the huge world?”

I believe that my future isn’t small. I am full of ambitious dreams and excellent qualities that many people don’t possess. Internally, I am preparing for a day when I can truly show the world my limitless potential. Although I do not have the physical attributes be a professional athlete, I can still recognize what it takes mentally to be a great athlete.

Some people see only big things, such as big buildings, big trees, big nations, and tall people as desirable. “The Empire State Building,” “Big Mac,” and “Yao Ming,” are things that are valuable to them. On the contrary, I don’t fail to pay attention to small things; delicately built houses, small yet productive flowers and trees, small and innovative countries, and small people who possess infinite potential. Whenever I look at these small things, it makes me happy and excited because I know that they have so much to show and contribute which has not yet been recognized.