On that note, I'd like to share with you a story that I received via email. I received the following story via my mom, who in turn, received the email from my aunt, who saw the message on an online forum.
康先生的大儿子是个天才，做作业都是一边看电视，一边做的。所有的考试和project 都对他很容易。进哈佛轻松自如，从哈佛毕业也是轻松自如。后来去Time 工作很容易，到微软在比尔盖兹身边工作也不难。
但康先生的二儿子Pei却是完全不同：怎么教都教不会。Kindergarten，学会了1＋1＝2, 2＋1＝3, 1＋2＝3，...但是，遇到了3＋1, 1＋2，就怎么也做不对了.。。。
“People with handicap often viewed as disabled. In real life, they maybe different but they can accomplish the same or more. Pei couldn't go out of the house so he has all the time left to do what he liked, to write. As time wears on, he is the only one has written many books out of his friends and cousins. That includes his genius brother. When they retire, Pei might be the only one has created something that will last.”
If you don’t understand Chinese, that must’ve been one long passage of unintelligible words. No worries. I have taken the time to translate the message.
It’s rare for me to translate things that are in Chinese because it’s tedious and never seem to have enough time to translate whole passages. However, this was different. The translation is as follows:
Mr. Kang’s oldest child is a genius. The child watches TV while doing homework. He finds every test and project to be easy. He entered Harvard, smoothly and breezily, and he graduated from Harvard, smoothly and breezily. Later, he worked for Time Corporation, which he found to be easy, and when he went to Microsoft, working next to Bill Gates, Mr. Kang’s oldest child found the job not too difficult.
However, Mr. Kang’s second child, Pei, was totally different, as no matter how Pei was taught, Pei didn’t understand. In kindergarten, Pei learned 1+1=2, 2+1=3, 1+2=3… however, when he encountered 3+1, 1+2, he couldn’t solve it, no matter what.
The father had to spend a lot of time after school, tutoring over and over again, day by day, and year by year. The father read the child’s every book and studied every class. Finally, Pei graduated from high school. The mother said to the father, “Congrats on graduating another American high school.” And wasn’t it so? The father and the child had graduated from high school together.
Mr. Kang said that graduating high school was an inherent human ability, so no matter what, I wanted to help him overcome it.
After graduating from high school, Pei entered a community college. After studying for a year, Pei said that it was too exhausting and that he didn’t want to continue. The father said, “Okay, then let’s go home and study to become a genius!”
Pei is a unique child, not only due to his slower than average learning ability.
He only has one atrium. He only has one ventricle.
He is, himself, a miracle. When he was born, doctors said maybe he could live up to half a year, at most 2 years.
This year, he is 30 years old and is very healthy.
In 2006, he experienced heart problems, and everyone close to him had thought his time was up. Even Pei’s parents had lost hope. Under the close attention and care of a nurse from mainland China, Pei began to recover.
Pei likes to read novels and write. The father encouraged him to write a novel. The first novel was okay, but Pei was not satisfied. The second novel Pei thought was better than the first. Pei’s dad told him, “When you have reached the eighth novel, you will have reached your goal. This is what success demands, to put in effort.”
Pei wrote novels like this at home, alone, always practicing.
Finally, Pei completed his eighth book. His book is available on Amazon.
Do you want to get to know Pei? Do you want to buy his books? Go to his website, peikangnovels.com
Mr. Kang said, “When you experience a lot of hardships and difficulties, only then can you understand life’s deeper meaning. Pei is my good fortune, as he has allowed me to learn a lot, and he has allowed me to understand more about life.
As parents, as long as you understand how to guide your child, no matter how your child’s innate abilities are, your child is capable of becoming successful.
Whatever type of success, you always have to persevere to reach it. No matter what, you must have faith, hold onto all that you have done, and in the end, you will be successful, you education will be successful, and you child will be successful.”
Mr. Kang sent me an email and mentioned Pei:
“People with handicap [sic] often viewed as disabled. In real life, they maybe different but they can accomplish the same or more. Pei couldn't go out of the house so he has all the time left to do what he liked, to write. As time wears on, he is the only one has written many books out of his friends and cousins. That includes his genius brother. When they retire, Pei might be the only one has created something that will last.”
This message was touching. I, myself, was nothing when compared to Pei. My problems were insignificant when compared to his. This short email from my mom, sharing Pei’s story made me feel, dearly, provincial. It’s not just because I’m a teenager, and I still have a lot to learn, but it’s also because this world is very, very big, and I’ve only seen a small microscopic portion of it.
While translating the message, I realized that this message was for everyone. All types of people have something to gain from this, parents, children, teenagers, young adults… We forget how much some people in this world have to overcome.
It may sound overly preachy or cliché, but in the end, the message is always the same: others have it worse. We don’t have to live with this fact over our heads, in every facet of our life. It’ll only lead to depression. However, if we could remember in those moments of hopelessness, that people like Pei can achieve and overcome, then we must be able, too.
The extent of Pei’s condition was not conveyed in this message. After going to his website, I have discovered that Pei has Tetralogy of Fallot . The “heart problems” that Pei experienced in 2006 was a heart attack.
According to the NIH , this disease is rare, but is the most common type of congenital (present at birth) heart defect. The people who have this disease have a continual lack of oxygen, and due to this, they experience cyanosis, a bluing of the skin. People who have tetralogy of Fallot can undergo surgery at birth or when they are older to correct the problem, and surgery is usually successful.
However, Pei Kang has tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia, an rare and extreme form of tetralogy of Fallot. People with pulmonary atresia have a pulmonary artery that has not formed properly, creating a solid closed valve. Due to this, blood from the right side of the heart cannot pick up oxygen.
I am not asking anyone to "like" this post. There's enough of that on Facebook already. Rather, I am asking you to remember that you are very lucky, to be born, so value the opportunities that you may have, as cliche as that sounds.
If anyone knows the source of the original message posted on the forum, please let me know so I can give them the proper credit!