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My Personal Growth with Passion

Like all other things in life, passion came to me in stages until I fully appreciate and embraced its value. Now as I come to think of it, life thrusts you in different directions and in every step it made you aware of life and of your growth as a person. What I learned is that passion does get you somewhere as Diderot rightly said “Great passions can elevate the soul to great things” (Cook et al, 2007, 336). My family’s arrival here in America, five years ago, is one of the realizations of our dreams, a product of my family’s passion for the best things in life.

Since that time my life has been cut in two parts: my unforgettable childhood in China and my adventure in the United States. For the first few years of my life, my family lived in simplicity and thrift. When I was little, my parents and I lived in my grandmother’s state-owned house in Beijing, China, for we did not own any house. My parents earned only about $30 per month. When I was five, however, both my country and my family began to change greatly. My parents started their own business and pursue it with passion. My family was determined to create happiness in spite of the hardships along the way.

I remember one time that during a Chinese New Year preparation, I asked my grandmother , who used to prepare many kinds of steamed buns and dumplings and preserved them outside by freezing them in the winter cold, why we should store up so much food. She answered me by taking out many colored coupons from a box kept in a drawer. There were different numbers of weight printed on the yellow colored coupons. She told me that the Chinese people had lived on these coupons for over forty years during the shortages of food and clothing in China. These coupons were issued and distributed by the government.

It was only by using those coupons that many people could afford to buy any food and clothing. Those tickets were not abolished until 1993, when I was 2 years old. From her story on that Chinese New Year, I realized why my grandmother and most of the Chinese people keep their old habits for they still worry about going hungry again in the future. But my father said, “Worrying is nothing. People should create their own happiness. ” I think he was right because I could see through my parent’s effort that they not only changed our lives tremendously but also brought me with them together to a new world.

Life here in San Diego was a big challenge for us as a family. My parents do not know how to speak English so I had to basically navigate my life here on my own especially when I registered for school. Going to school itself called for a lot of courage on my part as I felt so lost in the first two years, feeling an enormous barricade between me and everyone else in spite of the adjustments I made. It was really a hard time for me, but I did not mind facing it, since I remembered the word my father said to me, “something good eventually happen in the end when you do not give up!

” As my English became better, my school life became easier. I had made more friends and I did well in school. Then I got a job as a substitute teacher in my community. This working experience allowed me to use the knowledge to benefit other people. It also taught me how significant communication, understanding, and responsibility are. As I reflect on my life, my experience as a child growing up in China and as a teenager growing up in the United States, I realized the importance of being passionate about life. When hardships came many people lost their enthusiasm, their dreams, and their love for life.

Some became broken pieces that sadly could not be put together again. My parents and I, however, try to counteract the negative effects of hardship by being passionately optimistic about life so that hardships were not seen as obstacles but as stepping stones. Passion brings with it the power to transcend circumstances. It engages heart, mind, body, and spirit in making life’s circumstances an enjoyable learning experience. Reference Cook J. , S. Deger and L. A. Gibson. (2007). The book of positive quotations. Minneapolis, MN: Fairview Press, 2007

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