With great ability comes great responsibility.
Right now, Su Lin felt that he had grown up; he felt that it was laughable how he used to skip classes and didn’t study.
Su Lin felt that he had truly matured now, and he could understand that his parents had been under great pressure because of him.
Su Lin thought that he finally knew those who he truly loved, and that he must work hard and do everything to provide a good life to those he loved.
For a moment, Su Lin’s emotions soared to an unreachable height, and his previously blank mind started to give rise to more and more thoughts that he wanted to express. There was so much that Su Lin wanted to say incessantly.
With that, Su Lin finally knew the contents of the speech he was going to give. As if the words fell from the Heavens above, Su Lin’s mind had already prepared the speech. He wanted to share what he comprehended with the several thousand students, teachers, and their guardians in Jian’an First High.
Several thousand eyes were staring at Su Lin, waiting for him to open his mouth. It seemed that since the founding of Jian’an First High, there had never been a time when someone’s speech was so anticipated like Su Lin’s.
“Dear students, guardians, and school leaders, my name is Su Lin. I am just an ordinary student of Jian’an First High…”
Su Lin finally opened his mouth and started speaking slowly. As his words lacked anything new, and some students jeered at him, Su Lin changed his tone to an passionate one and said,
“I believe that all of you must be very curious about how I got into the top 10 of the grade? In fact, when I was still in Middle School, I was a good student; my grades were excellent, and that was how I was able to enter Jian’an First High. However, after that, I was no longer a good student. I felt that there was no meaning in education, so I indulged myself, skipped classes, and didn’t score well. I became a bottom-feeder who was not liked by his schoolmates, teachers, and parents.”
This was Su Lin’s own story and how he awakened, and it was also the voice of the heart of many Jian’an First High’s students. Those who could be admitted into Jian’an First High, none of them were bad when they were in Middle School. But after going to high school, many of them gave up on studying hard for various reasons more or less similar to his own.
With his words, Su Lin was able to arouse a feeling of resonance in many students. Naturally, the feeling was only limited to the students who were now doing bad. They felt that they were suffering from the same illness as Su Lin, and since Su Lin’s results could soar to such heights in front of their eyes, a new fire of hope started to burn in their hearts.
However, those students who had consistently performed well weren’t affected at all by his words. From infancy to maturity, this group of students didn’t relax a bit and studied hard under the watch of their teachers and parents, without indulging themselves like Su Lin. They thought that Su Lin was just an unreasonable degenerate.
Looking at the expressions of the people in front of him, Su Lin’s mouth slightly curled up into a smile and he said, “For students, learning is the number one priority; this has been instilled in our minds by our parents and teachers from the moment we held our first book and read our first word. Our only goal is to study tirelessly, and put in all of our effort into studying for more than a decade. We are like machines, machines that have been learning non-stop. From elementary school to middle school, and from middle school to high school, and now, we have to fight hard and learn as much as we can just so we can pass the College Entrance Examination. Every one of us has gone through the same process in life. So, I want to ask everyone present here: For what are we working so hard? For what do we give up almost everything in life just to study? This… Is this really the life that you want?”
Speaking ’till here, Su Lin slightly closed his eyes. It was as if at that moment, his entire life flashed through his mind at once. Learning, learning, and more learning. Exams, exams, and exams. It was as if the eighteen years of his life were spent taking one exam after another.
Su Lin was reminiscing, and he could feel that the students in front of him were also thinking the same as him.
Indeed! They spend their lives studying, but for what? Was it right, or was it wrong? What were they supposed to do?
The problem that Su Lin talked about was something that all the students had also considered when they couldn’t sleep sometimes. However, no one could ever think of an accurate answer. No one knew whether they were doing right or wrong. The issue always seemed to be a forbidden deathly territory; the more you think about it, the crazier you will become…
“Teacher Lin, this Su Lin of your class is up to what mischief? What nonsense is he spouting? How can he open his big mouth and spout those words in such an occasion? He’s actually instigating all his schoolmates into giving up on studying diligently! This is not good! We must immediately get there and stop him from going on!”
Principal Li Jianhua was infuriated. Listening to the contents of Su Lin’s speech, he immediately stood up from his seat and prepared to drag Su Lin down the podium in front of everyone.
“Principal Li, I think what Su Lin said is quite reasonable. Moreover, he sin’t instigating the students into not studying, instead, he’s leading his students into reconsidering their lives. I don’t think there’s anything inappropriate with that.”
Lin Qingxue had graduated from University not too long ago, and she had walked the path of these students step-by-step as well. Su Lin’s words had not only caused the surrounding students to rethink, but also inspired Lin Qingxue into thinking about her life.
That’s right! She had studied hard for so many years, went to University, graduated from University, and then came to Jian’an First High to teach students. One lecture after another, she had been teaching students only to walk on the same path she once walked. Was this all? Was this really what she wanted with her life?
Lin Qingxue was also at a loss. She vaguely remembered her childhood dreams, and how she had pledged to herself that she would travel the entire world and become a great adventure when she saw the beautiful the map of the world in her childhood! But, what now?
Her dream had long been cruelly buried by reality. She didn’t know how long ago it started, but the only dreams Lin Qingxue had was of her correcting her students’ homework.
“This… Is this really what I want in life?”
Unknowingly, Lin Qingxue repeated the words Su Lin had just said. Her innermost feelings also went into a turmoil as she looked at the Su Lin standing on the podium in front of her. At this moment, she felt that Su Lin wasn’t her student, but a beacon of life. He brought her out of darkness, and shone upon her a new ray of hope.
“No matter what, we can’t allow Su Lin to keep on spouting nonsense. I must immediately stop him…”
Principal Li Jianhua immediately tried go forward, but he was actually stopped by Headmaster Li Weimin.
“Headmaster, this students is simply spouting nonsense. Let me go and catch him…”
“Principal Li, what are you worried for? Since the student dares to say what he feels on an occasion like this, then let him do what he wants.”
Headmaster Li Weimin was quite an open-minded fellow. Instead of criticizing Su Lin, he stopped Li Jianhua’s advance, and even encouraged Su Lin to continue.
“But Headmaster, if we let Su Lin keep on speaking, then what are we going to do if the students fall into a trap and stop studying diligently? He is simply poisoning the minds of others!”
Li Jianhua was depressed. How could Headmaster Li let a student speak such words when there was such an important occasion going on in Jian’an First High.
“If Su Lin makes a good point, then it would be natural for them to listen to him. And if he is just spouting nonsense, there’s no way others would care about what he said. Principal Li, just relax. This is education, not politics; a school’s job is to embolden students into innovating and speaking their hearts. If we are just going to stop them from saying what they really think, and impose on them the practice of what I say is what goes, then that’s bureaucracy, not education!”
Beckoning with his hand, Headmaster Li made Li Jianhua sit down, and then he continued listening to Su Lin’s speech.
Someone else who was now anxious because of Su Lin’s words was Qin Yanran, who was focused on Su Lin’s words. When she heard Su Lin’s viewpoint, she also felt herself questioning herself in her heart. Since she had been studying so diligently, and even had outstanding academic record, what was it for?
As Qin Yanran was pondering over this, she fearfully looked at her mother, Fang Liping’s expression. She was worried that such words from Su Lin would disgust her mother. After all, her mother was also like the parents of other students, and made sure to supervise her study and required that she made good progress.
“This Su Lin, what he says is quite interesting.”
However, what was beyond Qin Yanran’s expectations was that her mother, Fang Liping, actually smiled and even praised Su Lin.
“What happened to mom today? How come she’s praising Su Lin again?”
Qin Yanran couldn’t help but doubt and wonder why her mother behaved so unusually today? All of this was because of Su Lin.
Not all parents, however, were like Fang Liping who had a sense of appreciation for Su Lin. In the eyes of almost all parents, it was a matter of course for their children to study diligently. Going to school, taking the College Entrance Examination, getting admitted to a good University, and finding a good job after graduation — was that not the most normal path of life?
Su Lin’s remarks had caused an uproar among the parents of these students. Many parents had already started scolding Su Lin.
“What bullshit outstanding student is this? How can Jian’an First High let a student like him go on stage to give a speech?”
“Our family’s children are already wild, and now that he’s said those words, handling them would be even more difficult!”
Similar to the others, the expression of Su Lin’s own mother also sank and she mumbled to herself, “Just what nonsense is Little Lin talking about?”
“Aizhen, I think that what Little Lin says is reasonable. To study, one must know what they are studying for. Reading without knowing what one is reading for is only wasted effort. In the past, did Premier Zhou Enlai not say that his reason for studying was for the rise of China!”
Father Su thought about it deeply, and could understand the meaning behind his son’s words.
In fact, Su Lin’s different speech had yet to end when it had already caused an uproar in Jian’an First High. In just a few short minutes, Su Lin had made the students, teachers, and guardians have all sort of thoughts welling up in their hearts. Su Lin turned his head to look at teacher Lin Qingxue, and was moved when he saw Lin Qingxue giving him an encouraging look. He knew that Lin Qingxue approved of his speech, and wanted him to continue.
Once again looking around the drill ground, Su Lin also found Qin Yanran, and Qin Yanran was also watching Su Lin at this time, and their eyes met. Su Lin suddenly realized that the person sitting next to Qin Yanran was quite familiar. Wasn’t she the married woman he saved at the hotel that day? Was she Qin Yanran’s mother?