The Last Word

By Sean Woo | Posted: Monday May 28, 2018

Two weeks after I was born, my grandfather passed away from an accident after hitting his head on the ice.

The warmth in our family quickly became as cold as the freezing Korean winter at the time. My grandmother, who was widowed, was shocked and heartbroken at the news. It would have been normal for people in these circumstances to become quiet and inactive, as they need to time to recover.

Although I was born in Korea, my family lived in Hong Kong, where I had been living my whole life till I moved to Dunedin. My mother was a flight attendant, and my father was a mechanical engineer, meaning that both of my parents were busy with their occupations. My grandmother offered to take care of me for the majority of my childhood in Hong Kong, meaning she would leave her house in Seoul and come live with me. By the time I was 12, my grandmother probably spent as much time with me as both my parents did.

Although my grandmother loved me, I was usually disobedient and headstrong, which are traits that still linger in the depths of my heart today. I felt the need to do what I judged as right and in the process ignored my grandmother's words. Love is something that I did not fully understand until I fully recognised that my grandmother sacrificed so much for me. She had compassion for me and was willing to sacrifice her time. Having a difficult upbringing, being born in the midst of the Korean War, she had to learn to care for her numerous siblings. When she was around ten years old, her younger sister died. By her late teens, my grandmother was accustomed to giving herself up for the good of others. For this is what the purest love is.

That is what drives me today. Love. My passion and dream are not being excellent. Excellence is only a bridge to achieving my goal. My ambition is to care for others to the best of my abilities and lessen physical and emotional pain. It is also why I want to be a surgeon.

Love is something that holds us together as one. Even though the majority of boys would think love as romance, I believe that love is more than that. You show love to others by sacrificing your time, working endlessly hard, and motivating others. Thank your family and others for supporting you time to time, as they genuinely love and encourage you. Next time you see your parents or siblings, try telling them that you love them in a way which does not involve cringe.

I hope that all of you today can show some more love to others than you have before. Even your enemies deserve some love as they have struggles and hardships in their daily lives. I always pray for my enemies that their problems to be over so that I can reconcile with them. Thank you.