This I Believe

Yiran - 89075, Germany
Entered on July 14, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I am brought up to believe that to help people is to help with all you can and the more you offer, the more likely they will succeed. And by reading inspiring books, I firmly believe in the saying that a person can be as good as you expect.

However, this belief was shaken by my help towards Ozge. When Ozge, the only Turkish girl in my class started to talk to me in our first German class, I didn’t know why I had an intension to talk to her and felt happy and interesting afterwards.

Through further talking, I began to understand why she looked always a little bit sad and worried: Unlike me, Ozge was admitted to the program under condition: She has to pass the TOEFL 88 line. For me, it is very easy, because I got 110 out of 120. However, Ozge only got 55 in her first TOEFL and if she fails this August, she will be kicked off. I really don’t know why I would have the idea of helping her, but I know very clearly that I am strongly committed to it.

In the following days, I searched on line to find whatever referent information I think will help. And I feel extremely pleased with myself of sending so much information. Ozge is very grateful, but it seems that the material favored by Chinese is not appropriate for her. She is overwhelmed by the long wordlist and the reading material I sent her and my constant sending her material makes she feel that she will never make it—-and this really surprises me. I thought the more advanced information you have, the more likely you will be successful in the exam, however, for Ozge, the more information only confirms her of how poor her English is.

She almost gives up TOEFL because the clock is ticking and panic takes over. She can force her body to study but not her mind. Suddenly, I, for the first time, feel shame of my help. Maybe, it is not help at all. And I also deeply regret telling her that I have remembered all the words in the list and finished all the model tests on the internet—–I thought this could encourage her and she should be motivated and have more momentum.

Although Ozge keeps thanking me, I don’t taste the holy feeling of help. On the contrary, I feel the urge to re-consider the way I help. The quality of help should not be measured exclusively by how much you can offer or how eager you are, but by how “right” your help can be—–right time, right place, and through right way. Blind help sometimes can be a disaster. Therefore, while we enjoy the happiness and content of offering help, we should also find the appropriate way to offer it. Our mercy should also pay respect to the others’ dignity and our unpreventable intention to help should take into consideration the others’ capacity as well.

I told Ozge that she should be confident of herself and her relentless effort during the last a few months, but I know I cannot convince her. How can she win back her confidence when she is alien with 80% of the words in the wordlist which I managed to remember?

TOEFL is coming and I sincerely wish Ozge can survive the test and stay in class. If she stays, we can hang around together to talk about fashion we are both interested in and American series we both love. And more for me, I can compensate for my bad help.