“Water please! Water pleaseee!” – my great grandmother’s six-year-old child had howled in vain before he died of a malignant fever. Yet no one dared give him any water to quench his thirst because people believed he must abstain from drinking to overcome the disease. His agonizing howl haunted my great grandmother over seventy years until she passed away.
This story belongs to the past. True. But its gloomy theme prevails in my country. Recently, in a mountainous area of Vietnam, a little girl became mentally lost after she was sexually abused. The local authority made the felon compensate the girl with nothing more than two bundles of wood.
On the same hand, tenuous houses with walls made of clay are thought to exist only in Indian villages more than two thousands and six hundred years ago, when Buddha still lived; but those fragile and murky houses can still be seen nowadays in my hometown, since poverty is an antiquated story that prolongs by present.
In truth, not until recently have I taken these seemingly distant facts into consideration. I grew up in the 21st century, when no sooner had Vietnam opened up to the world than the economy blossomed; sumptuous cars and voguish clothes dominate. Our generation lives in tranquility, being untouched by the dark loom of the past. However, things began to change two years ago, when I was fifteen years old. It was a stormy night. My sister and I were studying in our room when we heard mother’s whimpering cry. We were supremely astonished for we had neither seen her cry nor break down. My father, who was an influential journalist at that time, returned after his excursion and then left at once. He whispered, mother was petrified. He was in danger; his integrity and faith in his career, which is to expose the truth, had been severely attacked by the evil forces. My mother was pregnant, which preceded my parents’ being demoted for having violated the population policy. Throughout that adverse period, I frequently saw my mother caress her belly: “Little girl, you are indeed our hope and hold.”
The mournful hush in my family then was, startlingly, the sound that woke me up.
I began observing and realized the good accompanied by the evil, squalor, inequity and violence in a supposedly peaceful country. I understand why Vietnamese parents nurture their children in the same way that people nurture their hope and hold. When the present is full of risks and instability, people have no other choice but to look up to the future- their children. I started cultivating my own craving: study as hard as possible to subdue fear, feel free to follow a career, have equal opportunities to develop and build a sustainable society with empirical legislation and security. I must study abroad so as to absorb knowledge and skills from developed countries in which individual voices are not taken for granted and people control their own destiny.
Although no country is heaven, there are standards that I search for. Thus, I must make it to the States.