Imagine a car without a steering wheel. Tough to imagine, right? Well, actually that’s the image you see if a person has no faith. Faith helps to guide us in our lives, encourage us to persist, and give directions when we are lost.
In this peaceful era, our life paths seem to be already well-planned and determined. What we have to do is to follow. Yes, we may face different sorts of challenges, but at least they are less harsh when compared to those in the past. We do not need to worry about starving to death, or how to earn enough money to buy food for our siblings and sustain our lives.
It is like driving from a muddy road into a highway. In the muddy road, path, you would say, as it is formed only by crossing on it many times, flattening the ground to form a smoother area so we can pass. The road is so bumpy and rough, with holes here and there and rocks lying all over. When we drive along this road, we have to be very careful, having a firm grip on the steering wheel, ready for a sudden turn or a large boulder that may appear any second. However, when we drive on a highway, everything becomes different. The road is smooth, straight, and visible. Since there is no unseen obstacle, we may lower our guard, relax a bit, and loosen our grip on the steering wheel. One may even think, if we only have to drive on a smooth straight road like this highway, why would we need a steering wheel?
Nevertheless, one cannot foresee the future. Accidents do happen. For example, a car may suddenly appear in front of you. At such times, if you did not have the steering wheel, how could you make a sudden turn? Just as no one could foresee the Sichuan Earthquake nor the Japan Tsunami. If the one being trapped under the debris did not have faith, he/she would not have survived until being rescued. If we did not have faith, we could not recover from our sadness and rebuild our home.
Faith is unique, just as happiness is. We feel happy for different reasons, we believe for different things. How can we know what we believe in? Recall the last time you are discouraged, and you felt you had lost all hopes in your life. What pulled you back into the world? What pushed you to stand up and continue to strive again? That is your faith, your belief. Faith is what makes you feel you can when others say you can’t.
Faith is important…, faith is vital…, faith is necessary for us to live our lives. If we do not have faith, we are like a car without a steeling wheel. We can only afford to move along a straight and smooth path, and cannot meet any challenge in our lives. One must understand that no matter how smooth the road is, it is impossible for a car to go without a steering wheel. Or, put it in another way, have you ever seen a car without a steering wheel on the road? So, act now, my friends, find out what you believe in, find out your anchor in your life, hold on to your steeling wheel of your car, drive on, and reach your destination. Thank you very much.
Good morning/afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My topic is: faith does make a difference to our life.
The recent earthquake in Japan has triggered a series of unexpected crises and even faith crisis among us. Are the increasing natural disasters echoing the 2012 prediction by Maya? Is our future really so vulnerable and tentative? I am trying to probe the answer.
Last November, as a volunteer of the Global Sustainable Leaders Forum, I first came across the concept of social entrepreneurship. In the inspiring speeches, I saw the determination and faith of converting ideal into practice. I couldn’t help asking myself: what should I live for?
The great thinker Russell once put in his essay: Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.
By launching donation campaigns and bearing social responsibility, Bill Gates reshaped the stereotyped faith of businessmen.
Then, how can I make a difference? A talk with my father gave me some inspiration.
My father is a superfan of traditional Chinese calligraphy. When I was a kid, I had the faintest idea why I should practise routinely this form of art. It was terribly boring. But Dad said seriously: As a Chinese, we need to pass down and promote our rich culture. It is our responsibility.
Yang Lan, a well-known TV host once said: As a media worker, I want to track down the passage of time and history by conducting interviews. For me, the responsibility outweighs the occupation itself.
Far back to Confucius, who was once obscure and humble, undertook the seemingly hopeless task of building a harmonious society. But with his strong faith, hemade a change by spreading the seeds of wisdom.
The story about three craftsmen further illustrates the power of faith. When asked about their work, one said: I'm piling up the bricks. Another replied: I'm building the wall. The third responded: I'm designing a home for people. These three replies mirrored distinct insights toward work: Task, job, and undertaking.
In my university, students majoring in National Defence choose to devote their golden years to safeguarding our mother land. They have interpreted faith with their own dynamic youth.
My friends, musicians can not simply provide us with lyrical notes, but create melody to sooth our soul; Scientists can not merely invent machines, but utilize their wisdom to reshape our lifestyle; teachers can not just impart knowledge, but usher us to become a worthy person!
So, my dear friends, life without faith is just like music without melody, and world without color. We are who we choose to be. It is faith that’ll remove our fear about future and stretch the radius of our life. Let faith light up all our young dreams.
Sports are more than competitions. To me, they mean growth under the care of others. I learned this the hard way.
I used to be very shy and often felt lonely. Although I did well in all the academic subjects, I was afraid of physical education. My classmates often laughed at me.
“Look at that girl,” they said. “Her feet don’t leave the ground when she runs!”
Their words embarrassed me. Moreover, whenever the teacher organized some competitive games, no one in the class liked to have me as their partner or team member. As a result, I often ended up looking at others enjoy their games.
Things would go on like that if not for a sports meet in my high school. By mistake, my name was put on the list of those who would compete in the women’s 1500 meters race. By the time people found the mistake, it was too late to change.
My desk-mate was a natural athlete. She said to me, “I couldn’t run that race in your place, because I’ve signed up for three items already.” Other athletic girls of the class said the same.
I was utterly dumbfounded. 1500 meters! Running against the best runners from other classes! And in front of students of the entire school! It would be the worst nightmare I’d ever have!
“You still have time to catch up because there is still one month before the sports meet,” they all said this to me, including my teacher.
My desk-mate patted me on the shoulder, “Cool! You will run for our class! And we will do training together.” Yes, this is not just for myself, but for my class too, I said to myself. But still, 1500 meters to me was like Mount Everest to a beginning climber. I had no idea even how to start my preparation.
Fortunately, my desk-mate gave me a hand. Every afternoon after class, several of us ran together. When the fear of being laughed at struck me, I saw others running right beside me. They gave me strengths. While we were running, some others would stand by the tracks cheering for us.
One month certainly couldn’t make me a good runner. But when I was standing behind the start line, I no longer felt lonely or afraid. I saw my classmates standing by the tracks waving at me as if about to run beside me.
With the shot of the starting gun, I dashed out and ran as fast as I could, as if it were a 200-meter race. Soon I was out of breath and slowed down. Other runners passed me one by one, and gradually I had no idea how many of them were still behind me. My legs were getting heavier and heavier, and I might fall down at any moment. However, I suddenly heard my classmates chanting my name. My desk-mate even ran along the tracks beside me and cheered for me at the same time, just like the month-long training we did together.
As expected, I was almost the last to cross the finish line. Immediately, my classmates held my arms and urged me to walk on my feet and not to sit down. I was surrounded, with all kinds of drinks handed to me. I felt a kind of warmth I had never felt before. Even though I was almost the last to finish the race, I was full of confidence that I would improve in the future.
That sports meet was an unforgettable experience. The memory of my classmates cheering for me, holding my arms and handing me drinks stays fresh on my mind. Sports are no longer about winning or losing. They give me a lot of confidence, both confidence in my fellow students and confidence in my own potential. I am no longer lonely, no longer afraid. Sports have brought me close to my classmates and helped us grow together.
Now, I participate in the sports meet every year. Even if I am not competing, I would help my classmates with their practice, just like the way my desk-mate and others ran with me.
I have a question for you. ‘Do you know how to breathe?’ Okay, I know what you are thinking now, “Girl, are you kidding me? Everybody knows how to breathe.” Actually, if I were you sitting down in there one year ago, I would think, “How did she make it to the final?”
Alright, seriously speaking, what I am talking about is “the art of breathing”, and it’s about breathing in a Yoga way: peacefully and always under control. What it reveals is the real essence of perseverance, “In order to achieve, sometimes, you need to wait.” And when it comes to things you really want in life, it is as hard as it could possibly be.
For me, singing is a life thing. When I am singing on the stage, I feel whole-heartedly involved, and the self-fulfillment it renders is inexplicably thrilling. But with all the realistic problems I need to face in life, all those I want seem too far to be true– so far that I am terrified that I will never ever be able to get there and that gradually I will be carried away by the currents and torrents of life. I’ve been drowned into this ambivalence for so long. Now, with a refined perspective towards self-realization, I am waiting, in a graceful posture, and knowing that I am going to get there. And on this, I should say, I owe Yoga a thank-you.
I still remember, about one year ago, I attended a Yoga course for the very first time. And to tell you the truth, I went there for a nice figure. However, after practicing for some time, I discovered that there was an ineffable inner-strength burgeoning sneakily in me while I totally focused. In order not to let go this significant power, I started to picture all I wanted in my mind while I was fully concentrating, for I believe the wings of imagination could make things possible. I learned to breathe with my dreams, shaping the eagerness into this elegant gesture of persisting.
And now, if you ask me what exactly is “the art of breathing”, I would say it is indeed “the art of living”. It combines the search of balance, the grace of patience, and the awareness of appreciation.
So even though feelings are tied up with life routines, I could still hold onto that free EGO which I have always adored: the girl who is singing under the spotlight, with all her heart and soul; the girl who is persevering with all she believes in and always feels grateful for what has been bestowed on her.
That girl is now standing right here in front of you, hoping that you are all as lucky as she is, living with dreams and love. No matter how tough things get, I tell myself, I tell myself that, every single thing I am doing now is every step closer to that very moment of my trajectory, just like every Yoga breath to every blossom moment of my life.
How well are we in tune with the rhythm of life? In our busy day to day existence, we don’t often stop to ask ourselves this question. At least I don’t. And it wasn’t until I joined a competitive sporting event that I learned a most important lesson – we must place our mind in harmony with the natural order of things to be successful.
Let me tell you what happened.
I decided to take part in an International Marathon in my hometown last year. Being an ambitious person, I hoped to finish it within 5 hours, accompanied by my friend with whom I had trained.
The big day finally arrived. "Ready...set...bang" And we were off.
At first, we kept a rapid pace and ran nonstop. At this pace, we finished the first 20 kilometers in 2 hours and I thought running a marathon was a piece of cake. Then my running mate began to slow down. I urged him to keep running at the same pace but he said no, he wanted to conserve his energy. I felt I had partnered with the wrong person, therefore, I sprinted on and left him behind in the dust.
A few kilometers later, I began to understand his strategy as my pace slowed to a jog then a walk. After that I was incapable of moving another step. I was humiliated as more and more people ran passed me. More than once I thought "Maybe I should quit." I started to doubt my ability to finish this race.
At this moment, my running mate caught up with me and slapped me on the back. “Follow me,” he shouted. He had balanced his marathon pace and was encouraged me to do the same. For the rest of this grueling contest, we walked, jogged, ran a few miles, and walked again. Slowly, painfully but hopefully this time, we established the most suitable pace within the natural flow of our physical capabilities.
Eventually we accomplished our first Marathon of 42 kilometers in 4 and half hours. I asked myself, what did this marathon mean to me? My Marathon experience became an influential metaphor for my life about how we must learn to pace ourselves in everything, by being in tune with the rhythm of life.
Like the tide that ebbs and flows, we must listen to advice but make our own decisions. Like the show at dawn and dusk, we must learn to balance pride and modesty. And from the way the wind can both shout and whisper, we must learn when to be strong and when to be gentle, for everything moves in its own rhythm and its own yin and yang elements. It is the interaction of these complementary extremes that produces harmony, as Laozi said, extremes meet. Since the marathon, this notion of two opposite forces working together has been my running partner, so to speak. Yin and yang exist everywhere, constantly interacting, and never existing in an absolute condition.
Ladies and Gentlemen, life is like running a marathon, let us discover, define and develop a natural rhythm of life, in order to achieve both harmony and success.
Thank you for listening.