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第十六届中国日报社“21世纪杯”全国英语演讲比赛半决赛秦怿炜演讲视频
来源:21英语网  时间:2011-07-11 16:3


秦怿炜 澳门科技大学

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

Let me pose two questions to you before I start my speech:

The first one: what was your first dream?

The second: How many of you have made this first dream come true?

 We have heard many stories about how we should never give up our first dream. However, I have an alternate interpretation:

Look into the reality. When reality asserts itself in our lives and makes that dream impossible, to attempt to realize this first dream may become a futile undertaking.

This cruel dilemma attained painful clarity for me as I began to prepare my speech for this contest.

 My first dream was to become a cardiothoracic surgeon like my mother. During my elementary school years, I went daily to the hospital where my mother worked after school. I admired her surgeon’s gown, I was touched by the trust in her patients’ eyes, I even was addicted to the acrid odors of the antiseptics that wafted through the hospital.

I dwelt in the certainty that I would become a cardiothoracic surgeon until I was 16. That was my first year in high school when I directly confronted the reality of the nationwide college entrance examination. The average scores of the students in my province were the highest in China. And, alas, 70% of the students in my province chose science as their major and only 30% of them chose art. I myself am only average at math and my ability at chemistry was no better.  But I was the best student at Chinese literature, history, and geography at my high school. If I want to be a surgeon, exceptional ability in science, meaning chemistry, physics, etc. would be required.  Thus my dilemma: if I pursued art, I was pretty sure I could be admitted into a top university in China, but my surgeon dream would remain unfulfilled. If I pursued science, I would, at best, only be admitted to a mediocre university and the chances were that I would never achieve my dream.

So, after 3 days of agonizing internal struggle, I gave up my first dream.

But to tell you the truth, I don't regret the decision. Because I came to understand a more important truth: we should alter and transform our aspirations if changed circumstances provide us with no way to go forward. A mind wearied or paralyzed by disappointment can easily overlook new possibilities. Before quitting altogether, we should search for ways to fit the new situation and find new ways to pursue our aspiration to excel.

Let’s go back to the first two questions I asked just now: my first dream was to be a surgeon, and I didn't make it come true, because, along the way, I realized that it wasn't the vocation that suited me the best, along the way, I discovered that I am in love with the hospitality industry, and along the way, I understood that, if we lose something, we lose it for a reason, a reason that emerges from deeper within ourselves. And we must accept and believe that something better and more authentic will emerge from the initial disappointment.

There are only a few people in the world who have made their first dream come true. But, still, there are many more people who are living a happy life. I gave up my dream of becoming a surgeon but I ended up working in a highly responsible position in one of the best hotels in the world. What I do is perhaps not the most exalted job on earth. But it is challenging and interesting. And there was no guarantee that I would have been happy as a surgeon.
 
You never know what is waiting for you at the end of your first dream. It might have been just an idealized fantasy of your youth. If you rigidly stick to that fantasy, you will tragically limit your options and you will never know an alternate reality, one that offer many more satisfactions and experiences.