A letter to Uncle Wu – by 18808 Li Qing
Translated by Angela Yang
Dear Uncle Wu,
Hello! I am Li Qing, a PEACH student whom you have helped for many years. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your help! I am lucky to become a member of the PEACH family, and thanks to your help, I have finished high school and got into Tsinghua University.
The day I received the acceptance letter from Tsinghua, Huize county’s media visited my home and interviewed me and my family (because getting admitted into Tsinghua is a big deal to a small place like Huize). My mom said that she never even thought that she could appear on the television, or thought that I, her daughter, could amount to this much. I expressed gratitude to my parents, teachers, and classmates in high school who fought alongside me in the war of exams to the camera. I also thanked those people who have supported and encouraged me without even meeting me in person. I have only learned your name several months before that day, but you have already supported me for three years.
After I finished my first year in high school, I participated in the PEACH summer camp held in Huize. There, I learned two things that will benefit my entire lifetime. The first is trying to express. Perhaps many people assume that kids like us are not good at expressing themselves, but I do not think that is the case. Contrarily, we would love to express ourselves, but we are not used to it. PEACH taught me to try to express, instead of learning to express myself. Uncle Wu, you cannot imagine how important this is! After the summer camp, I became even closer to my mom. I found that she smiled more often, and she also changed her attitude toward her health condition: she expressed acceptance and confidence toward treatment.
The second thing I learned is sitting still. Starting from the second year in high school, meditation for fifteen minutes in my spare time has become one of my habits. Although just for a short time, meditation has let me concentrate better and realize that some of my previous thoughts are just yielding to my limitations. The most apparent change that occurred to my mindset was that I no longer saw studying as a task, but realized that it is an indispensable part of the journey of life.
PEACH brought me a new way to see the world. Whether poor or rich, illiterate or erudite, we should all live to find the meaning of our existence. It could be a better living condition, bringing warmth to others, or sacrifice ourselves for the common good. This is a personal choice that does not include any external factors, and it should not be controlled by the opinions of others. The meaning of life is something everyone should think about to be responsible for one’s life.
Uncle Wu, did you know that? One day, I suddenly became really curious about people like you: What do you want to gain from your public service activities? What do you hope people you have helped would do for you? Surely you do not expect gaining their help to repay yours, do you? That is, for sure, the most foolish thought. I have been receiving your help for three years, and I assume that what you hope from me in return is probably the simplest things I can do. For example, a letter to you, like the one I am writing now; a phone call after I graduate to tell you the good news; an email after I found a job to tell you that I can live independently from then on, and I can provide a better life for my mom.
I will, like you, continue to pass the kindness on. There are too many people in this world who have not even realized that their lives could be so different if someone lent them a helping hand. I aspire to become that helping hand to pass on warmth and kindness.
Thank you again for your help, Uncle Wu!