ladies and gentlemen:
Last summer holiday, I went to visit my grandparents, who lived in a mountain village in the northeast of China. The village lied far away from cities and towns. 30 years ago, the annual income of each villager was 100 Yuan a year, that is quite unbelievable to the people of my generation. Few children finished high school because there wasn’t any high school at all. It was because their families needed them to go back home farming, or their families could hardly afford the tuition and living expenses.
“Why did you send my parent to middle school” I asked my grandfather one day.
“How did you support him when family had a slight sum of money and only a handful of food?” I continued.
My grandfather looked up at me, silent.
I noticed, I noticed the sense of puzzle and astonishment in his eyes. Obviously he hardly prepared for answering the question from his granddaughter.
He did not begin his story until he sensed my astonishment.
My grandfather was born in a family that all members, generation after generation, farmed in villages. He did not have any kind of school education, but he learned how to read from one educated neighbor, who seemingly lived a better life. He started to read newspapers He listened to news broadcasting, day after day, year after year. Gradually he himself became one educated man and changed himself.
The more he learned, the more he realized the importance of learning.
Life was really tough then, but he was even tougher. Unlike many others, he sent his children to the best middle school in town, to continue education that no one in his family had ever done. He worked harder and saved as much possible money as he could to change destiny of his children, to change that seemed as the unchangeable.
To his wish, my father went to college. To his glory, his son is now living better life than previous generations. It was because of these his granddaughter is leading to a better day.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
There is nothing that we can not change when we change ourselves. We need to make a choice to change. Change the unchangeable will never be paradoxical. That’s why we talk about it today. Thank you.