Too often, I was controlled by my negativity. I was proud and arrogant in front of those who are weaker, but cowardly and immature when I faced those who are stronger. When I learned that I was nothing but a mere big fish in a small pond, jealousy rampaged, grievance scourged, hatred plagued, and idleness conquered my mind. I was deprived of my reasons, motivations and passions for my endeavors towards a specific goal. Although it seems extreme, this is in fact the reality of a common man. However, the one and only hope left in my opened Pandora’s Box, the tender yet powerful energy – positivity – changed my world completely.
My parents are no one special in worldly terms; no wealth; no political authority; no high social status. A hundred years of Christian faith, a habit of showing gratitude – positivity – was all what they had to hold on to. My father’s mother, my grandmother, as a widow, raised five siblings all by herself. Although their life was poor, their faith that each and every one is special and here for a purpose encouraged them to view the world happily and positively. Never once did my father lose heart to anyone who was socially more powerful than him, and have witness those almighty nobles paying sincere respect to my father. Birds of a feather do not always flock together. An ugly bird can get along fine with beautiful ones as long as the former believes in its value and behaves with dignity. My mother once suffered from cancer, and even after the operation, she is having to go through ultraviolet treatment that oftentimes renders patients wishing to death. Despite the relentless pain and solitude (because of my studies and father’s work, we had to leave my mother in Korea all alone), my mother was unlike other depressed patients whose faces were pale and bodies like corpse. Many people who saw my mother said “Her face shines”, and every visitor who came to console was touched by mother’s positive attitude and described her “youthful” despite she was already 48 years old. Influenced by my parent’s positivity that supported them through myriad hardships, I am now a positive individual.
I will become a person who will instill the spirit of positivity into the minds of the younger generation through education. Additionally, I have concluded that positivity equals a good change. I thought of becoming a lawyer, attempting to protect those who became scapegoats of those who are in positions power. Later I wanted to become a politician to decrease or end the rising pedophile and corruption within my country. I realized, nonetheless, that I only have one body and one mind and it is impossible to solve every single problem prevalent in the world. Despite this fact, I could not forgo my purpose. It was two movies that provided me with an answer to my dilemma. The answer is: education. I dream of establishing a school that will socially and morally awaken students from an early age, driving them to become politicians, CEOs, doctors, artists, musicians, athletes and amongst others who urge for virtuous change, to contribute to the betterment of our world. In “Dead Poet’s Society”, even though they were from noble and rich families, the supposed individually respected students were treated by their parents and surroundings as homogeneous machines. The protagonist professor, however, changed these students’ perception of the world through a different style of education which was outrageous at the time. Eventually, the professor is fired but his teachings remain as seeds in the minds of his students, waiting to bloom and spread the ideal that saved them. In “Coach Carter”, the coach highlights not only skills but dignity, changing the attitude and modes of thinking of once hopelessly spoiled teenagers. Education is what indeed brings change and can also instill the hope for change in individuals’ minds.
I plan on combining the advantages of both eastern and western types of education. I have experienced and hence know the defects of Asian education. In China and Korea, students are spoon-fed, forced to simply memorize knowledge without clearly understanding or having a personal opinion for it. This deprives originality and creativity, brainwashing students to solely obey and no trace of leadership and respect for the self is fostered within. Western education, on the other hand, promotes the so-called “thinking-out-of-the-box mindset”, rendering students more self-reliant and passionate for debates. However, eastern education has benefits that can be rarely shown in western education. “The strength of cooperation when faced with a common enemy” is both inherent and cultural in my countries’ schools. When I was in America and Canada for two months, I felt that the local people were very “cold” towards each other. The concept of “self-independence” or “my problem is mine and your problem is yours” may promote one’s responsibility but somehow from my countries view it seemed stingy and at times cruel. The “no interference” to others’ matters is a double-edged sword. I cannot deny there can be over-dependence on others when students or parents help and care for each other’s concerns frequently, but as long as extremity do not affect, there is something warm and good that elicits from the reliance of one another. All in all, I hope to create a school where students are creative, original and independent yet warm-heartedness cooperation prevails.
Education is in fact a truly interesting business. Normally, customers think they deserve the level of service they had paid for, and are inclined to complain or accuse when their rights are neglected. Education has its own customers – students, who ironically are oftentimes more satisfied when schools and teachers allow them to escape from studies. Hence, I believe that education is a business of conscience. Conscience is required for both those who teach and those who learn. The teachers can care about making money and ignore students who do not listen while students who want to avoid study can choose to sleep in class or simply not concentrate, or in extreme cases skip school. On the other hand, professors who are motivated by conscience more than money tend to try hard to guide spoiled students onto the right track and conscientious students cherish their parents’ efforts to provide for their education and work hard. Once again, education is a business of conscience, and conscience is based on a positive mind, and with a positive mind, change will certainly occur.