Over the past Spring Festival, I got involved in a family dispute. Right before I got home, four satellite channels of CCTV were added to the 14 channels we had already had. In prime time at night, they all had interesting shows. Therefore, the five of us-my parents, my sisters and I-had to argue over what to watch. Finally, we agreed that we should watch the "most interesting" programme... If we could agree what that was.
However, all of us there remember that for a long time after we had TV, there were only one or two channels available. The increase in options reveals an important change in our life: the abundance of choice. Fifteen years ago we all dressed in one style and in one colour. Today, we select from a wide variety of designs and shades. Fifteen years ago, we read few newspapers. Today, we read English newspapers like the China Daily and the 21st Century, as well as various Chinese newspapers.
Fifteen years ago, English majors took only courses in language and literature. Today, we also study Western culture, journalism, business communications, international relations, and computer science. The emergence of choices marks the beginning of a new era in China's history; an era of diversity, of material and cultural richness, and an era of the rebirth of the Chinese nation.
About 150 years ago, China was forced to open up its door by Western canons and gunboats. It has been through the struggle and sacrifice of generations that we finally have gained the opportunity to choose for ourselves. The policy of reform and openness is the choice that has made all the difference.
Like others of my age, I'm too young to have experienced the time when the Chinese people had no right to choose. However, as the next century draws near, it is time to ask: What does choice really mean to us young people? Is choice a game that relies on chance or luck? Is choice an empty promise that never materializes? Or is choice a puzzle so difficult that we have to avoid it? First, I would like to say: To choose means to claim opportunities.
I am a third-year English major. An important choice for me, of course, is what to do upon graduation. I can go to graduate school, at home or abroad. I can go to work as a teacher, a translator, a journalist, an editor and a diplomat. Actually, the system of mutual selection has allowed me to approach almost every career opportunity in China.
Indeed, this is not going to be an easy choice. I would love to work in such big cities as Beijing or Shanghai or Shenzhen. I would also love to return to my hometown, which is intimate, though slightly lagging in development. I would love to stay in the coastal area where life is exciting and fast-paced. I would also love to put down roots in central and western China, which is underdeveloped, but holds great potential.
To us young people, challenge often emerges in the form of competition. In the next century, competition will not only come from other college graduates, but also from people of all ages and of all origins.
Nuclear power, for instance, may improve our quality of life. But it can also be used to damage the
lives and possessions of millions.
To those of us who are blind to the consequences of their choices, I would like to say, To choose means to take responsibility. When we are making choices for ourselves, we cannot casually say: "It's just my own business. " As policy makers of the next century, we cannot fail to see our responsibility to those who share the earth with us. The traditional Chinese culture teaches us to study hard and work hard so as to honor our family. To me, however, this family is not just the five of us who quarreled over television programmes. Rather, it is the whole of the human family. As I am making my choices, I will not forget the smile of my teacher when I correctly spelled out the word "China" for the first time, I will not forget the happy faces of the boys and girls we helped to send back to school in the mountains of Jiangxi Province. I will not forget the tearful eyes of women and children in Bosnia, Chechnya and Somali, where millions are suffering from war, famine or poverty.
All these people, known and unknown, make up our big human family. At different points, they came into my life and broaden my perspective. Now as I am to make choices for myself, it is time to make efforts to improve their lives, because a world will benefit us all only if every one in it can lead a peaceful and prosperous life.
Man\u2019s life is a process of growing up, actually I\u2019m standing here is a growth. If a person\u2019s life must constituted by various choices, then I grow up along with these choices. Once I hope I can study in a college in future, however that\u2019s passed, as you know I come here, now I wonder what the future holds for (= what will happen to) me.\ue000\ue000
When I come to this school, I told to myself: this my near future, all starts here. Following I will learn to become a man, a integrated man, who has a fine body, can take on important task, has independent thought, an open mind, intensive thought, has the ability to judge right and wrong, has a perfect job.\ue000\ue000
Once my teacher said :\u201d you are not sewing, you are stylist; never forget which you should lay out to people is your thought, not craft.\u201d I will put my personality with my interest and ability into my study, during these process I will combine learning with doing. If I can achieve this \u201cfuture\u201d, I think that I really grow up. And I deeply believe kindred, good-fellowship and love will perfection and happy in the future.\ue000\ue000
People in this world can be divided into two categories: those always working and those always making comments. The working ones never have time to idle away. Some may run a hotel, or do some business; some may open a factory or set up a school; others may be absorbed in scientific research, or devoted to military affairs or political issues. Right or wrong, successful or failed, they are always fully committed to their careers. Facing all kinds of risks(not because they neglect them, but mainly because they have the courage), and shouldering the responsibilities, they march forward, bravely and cautiously. They are risking their luck and their lives as well. They have neither time nor energy to comment on others. While attentively planning the future, they devote themselves wholly in hard work, leaving the embroidered stories and malicious gossips flying in the air. The commenting ones, however, usually work less, and even if they want to work sometimes, they simply are not capable enough. They are no better than anyone, but show admiration to nobody either. They blame either the heaven, or the earth, but never themselves. They dare not to take any risks, but they are also afraid of any hard work. They are gossip- mongers, making stories and spreading rumors, making you feel annoyed and upset. It's not because that you have hurt them, or disturbed them, or hindered them, but because you are working. If only you are working, he is there commenting. Everything is hard at the beginning. You have just started a new cause, needing encouragement and support, yet he is there pouring a jar of cold water or blowing a gust of chilly wind, making you worried or perplexed. But once you have succeeded, he is there again sharing your success without feeling a little ashamed of the discouragement he had given you.
Many people don't like using their mind but enjoy echoing the views of others. They often take it for granted that the working ones are wrong while the commenting ones are definitely right. However in all fairness, how can it be true? Not working itself is already wrong, and it is a blunder to hurt the hard working people.
From ancient time to the present, many great men have been commented on endlessly. Take the cases of Confucius, Emperor Qinshihuang, Empress Wu Zetian, Gengis Khan, Dr. Sun Yet-sun, Chairman Mao, Deng Xiaoping, etc.. Both positive and negative criticism have been made about them. They not only enjoyed compliments but also suffered slanders from all over the world.
When commenting on what's right and what's wrong, the commenting ones themselves don't really know what is wrong and what is right. They are simply demanding perfection. When criticizing the others' inability, they themselves are actually unable to do anything, but simply pretending that they know better. This can well be compared with the actors and spectators. A new program is always followed by large amounts of criticism from the spectators. But if a spectator is given a chance to perform, a disaster will surely happen. Diners are always commenting on the skills of the chefs while readers are always criticizing the writers. Another case in point is the forty-chapter sequel of A Dream of the Red Mansions , which were written by Gao E who did a nearly perfect job. Nevertheless there are always such people who claim to be the experts on the novel, criticizing the latter forty chapters as a wretched sequel to a fine work. What if we ask them to write the sequel? I'm afraid they can only make it worse. It's easier said than done.
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