This I Believe

Shu Mei - Taiwan
Entered on December 17, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

This summer I, by chance, read the short story “Paper Pills”, the story about people in Winesburg, written by Sherwood Anderson. After reading it several times, I was so fascinated by the vocabulary “twisted”, used to describe little apples grown in the orchards of Winesburg. Simultaneously, Dr. Reefy’s, an important figure in the story, knuckles were ironic to be deemed gnarled apples. Somehow, either “twisted” or “gnarled” represents our negative impression to the appearance.

Those little grown apples were rejected by the buyers in the market; whereas Dr. Reefy was almost forgotten by the residents in the ancient town. What made them have the same situation? Sadly, apples and Dr. Reefy respectively had a deformed look generally taken as a rough criterion to judge an unfamiliar person. To certain degree, the acceptance of an imperfect looking implies the acknowledgement toward the identification.

I sorrowfully have seen so many Taiwanese looking for ways to disguise their dim backgrounds or to climb to a higher rank, by all means. By doing this, they simply think their lives will be entirely reversed as if bitter pills are coated by colorful sweet sugar. Now, leave a sugar-coated pill below your tongue. When the sugar-coating is increasingly resolved in your mouth, what flavor will you taste?

Wrapping a dull toy in an adorable box would make this toy a pleasant gift to the receiver. Yet I, human being, cannot hide myself by wearing a charming mask. Lying successfully to parents and friends probably is not a difficult task; however, lying to me would never be a right thing to do because I have the brain to ponder and the heart to sense. Any costume is too fragile to frame me in that fake world while I am perceptible.

I have strongly believed in that the value of the individual is not determined by those stereotypical, secular judgments. Contrarily, it absolutely is I who defines and creates my own valuation. Then, the very first thing I have to do is open to the real I, truthfully. I realize of what I am lack; I will go for it and have what I want.

In “Paper Pills,” it says that only the few know the sweetness of the twisted apples. That is, only those bugs know it. Being a twisted apple, I spend much time pursuing the real I, not losing myself. In the meantime, I love being a bug nibbling at my ugliness and appreciating my prettiness. I believe that in the journey of finding and accepting the real I, my identification will be firmed up and I will be improved slowly but surely. I believe I am unique.

Be honest to myself, be bright to my life.