Ideas and Ideals


I didn’t recognize my talent until one day my kindred spirit, Kun, said to me, “Summer, you are a confident person. And I like the idea of you.”

“Am I?” None of my friends had ever said that. They praised me for being smart and friendly, but none of them would have credited me ‘confident.’ I nodded because I didn’t want him to know how insecure I felt when surrounded by a bunch of talented elites.

But his words changed my life. I have not spent time wallowing in self-pity ever since. I flipped the desk and dismissed all the skeptics, as being true to myself, I am confident. When I fail, I reassure myself that success is meaningful because it doesn’t come easily. Some people used to mock my height, but now I think they are trying to rob me of my poise. I began to voice my views in group discussions, and I felt inspired when members advocated my ideas. Like a candle illuminating the whole room, I saw a broader realm to which I had never been.

Kun is the person that fits perfectly into Emerson’s definition of self-reliance. He carried himself against his family’s will and went to Miami to pursue his studies. He insists on his passion for literature, although the 21st century is an era that has no living space for poets.

Kun’s independence inspired me to pursue what I truly love: I continued reading Russell’s A History of Western Philosophy, despite my parents’ expectation for me to become a financier. Because of our confidence, we are not afraid to dream differently.

Kun is supportive. He expresses compliments and gives me honest advice. I told him my ambition of running for president one day, as I want to implement liberal arts education to address inequality. “I endorse you for replacing Trump,” he replied. I announced, “I am going to write for American publications.” He said, “Show your distinct perspectives when you write.” I declared, “I want to be an English broadcaster in the TV station.” He pointed out, “Then you need your father’s leverage.” When I discovered Voices of Youth in the United Nations student resources website, I shared with him: “I found an excellent journal for us. Don’t tell anyone!” He replied via email, “Thank you!” After a few days, I saw his article published. What a future writer!

One ordinary evening, as I was writing down my new philosophical insights, I thought, why not make a website like Khan Academy to allow more people to learn about the humanities? I asked Kun if this would be viable, and he responded, “Totally happening. I can help you with the design.”

Encouraged by his statement, I came up with the name WeKnow, symbolizing “A Grand Encounter of Knowledge.” As I progressed to edit the content, WeKnow rendered me thousands of opportunities. For example, I learned to overcome my fear of rejection and reach out to contributors to solicit their writings and artworks. I joined the philosophy club and became an active “preacher.”

We discussed Thomas Hobbes, and members could submit their perspectives on WeKnow to let more people see them. I understood I had to take initiatives and responsibility if I wanted to achieve something, in this case, diversifying my website to provide ample resources to learners.

It was during these spontaneous moments that I felt the determination to realize my aspirations. I am very thankful for the wonderful friends who have helped me to achieve these, especially Kun. He confirmed my belief that I am confident and prompted me to set off for my audacious dreams.