Friday, April 19, 2024

This Life, Rely on Yourself

There's a saying: "Relying on mountains will make them collapse, relying on people will make you old. In the end, you realize you only relied on yourself." Throughout life, it’s only by depending on oneself that one can live with dignity and shine brightly.

This Life, Don't Rely on Parents

Life is not all smooth sailing. Only by relying on oneself can one change their fate. There's a deeply moving story from the late 1980s. A man with hearing impairments married a woman who was not eloquent and slightly clumsy. The entire village watched, curious to see what kind of child they would have.

This couple had a daughter who grew up to be the prettiest girl in the village. She was called Jane. Since childhood, she frequently heard people say, "Such a smart and beautiful child but with parents like that, she is so pitiable." However, Jane was always stubborn; she didn't believe she was the "pitiable" person the village spoke of.

After graduating from elementary school, she chose to drop out and joined the village's performance troupe as an apprentice. She put her heart and soul into her work, believing that only by relying on herself and acquiring enough skills could she change her fate. She didn't just learn to sing and play instruments; she also read many books in her spare time.

Four to five years passed, and she became a highly respected figure in the troupe. Her outstanding appearance and profound knowledge made her performances widely popular. Gradually, more people started inviting her to perform.

Some say, "Life is like walking on thin ice; just as you catch a breath, a new challenge arises." Just as Jane’s life was gradually improving, her mother was diagnosed with colon cancer. Frequent hospital stays and chemotherapy quickly depleted their resources.

To earn more money, Jane worked even harder. However, the sudden arrival of the 2020 pandemic completely disrupted her livelihood, leading her to lose her income entirely.

Her mother's illness worried her deeply, and the lack of financial resources made her even more anxious. There's a saying: "If you are heading for debauchery, not even a deity can save you; if you are growing, even a dire situation can bring a new beginning."

Facing the inability to perform live shows, she decided to live stream singing online. Friends suggested she glam up to attract more male fans, but Jane firmly believed that the most touching aspect is humanity. She was in a modest rural setting, a simple and beautiful girl, with ordinary parents but a curious innocence in their eyes. This stark contrast drew over 20,000 fans on her first night of streaming. These fans were mostly dreamers living far from their hometowns.

Through her live streaming, these fans felt familiar scenes and moving songs, soothing their homesickness. Jane rediscovered her life's value and earned a considerable income through live streaming, improving her family's financial situation.

Now, when the villagers see her parents, they say, "You're blessed to have such an accomplished daughter." When this happens, her parents point to the picture of their daughter on the phone screen and give a thumbs-up.

"Destiny ultimately cannot defeat us. When you're feeling low, just look around, and see what it can stir up. Over time, you'll realize that it's ultimately like a child, or rather, it is a child, our own child. Our destiny is shaped by our own hands. In the end, we are the creators of our own destiny."

Perhaps in childhood, you can rely on parents, but as time passes, life changes unpredictably. Parents cannot always be with us, nor can they always shield us from life's challenges. Some say, "Having parental support is a straight road, lacking it is a winding road."

On this winding road, only those who endure it alone will realize that life is about constantly refining, repairing, and shaping oneself, meeting a brand new and better version every time.

This Life, Don't Rely on Marriage

My close friend got married right after graduating from college and soon became pregnant. At that time, her husband's business was doing well, so she chose to resign and become a full-time housewife. People often say that being a homemaker is one of the most perilous occupations, and she fell victim to it.

One of the things that distressed my friend most during her time as a full-time homemaker was the frequent words from her husband: "You want money again?" He couldn't understand her efforts and only complained that she didn't do anything but spent too much money. She felt extremely oppressed in this passive role.

Therefore, my friend decided to do something to break free from this situation. At the time, the trend of purchasing agents was rising, and she began a purchasing business in partnership with a male classmate. However, this almost destroyed her marriage. Her husband suspected her of having an inappropriate relationship with her classmate and physically abused her because of it. Frustrated, my friend went back to her parents' home.

Upon her friend's referral, she became a substitute teacher in a school. Concerned about her teaching abilities, she diligently prepared and refined her teaching materials. She rehearsed in front of experienced teachers until she felt adequately prepared to start teaching. She prepared for every class with such meticulousness.

Midway through the semester, her class unexpectedly achieved the first position in the entire grade, surprising everyone, including herself.

During that time, she deeply realized that hard work doesn’t go in vain. Her effort gave her confidence and direction in life. Following this, she moved to work for a training institution, and many students who had attended her classes before eagerly signed up for her courses. Her husband, seeing her transformation, was equally shocked and started regretting his past reckless behaviour. He hoped she would forgive him and resume being a homemaker. However, my friend's stance was resolute: she could return home, but her career would not be abandoned. Her effort gave her a sense of accomplishment and happiness.

Gradually, her reputation grew, allowing her to break away from her previous institution and establish her own training centre. Even with increasing students and hiring more teachers, she personally took on the teaching responsibilities. Not only did she no longer ask her husband for money, but she also covered the household expenses during her husband's business downturns.

"The road has to be walked step by step; suffering has to be endured mouthful by mouthful. Pulling sinew and skin is the only way to transform and grow, besides this, there are no shortcuts." Marriage has never been a sanctuary for anyone, and sometimes, it's the beginning of nightmares for some. A person must rely on themselves. Instead of seeking warmth from another's shoulder, it's better to soar against the wind and be self-reliant. Only one's bank balance and individual abilities are the greatest assurance in navigating the world. As long as we have our protective umbrella, regardless of stormy or sunny times, we can move forward courageously.

In This Life, Don't Rely on Children

It's best not to expect too much from others because everyone has their own difficulties. Let me tell you about my neighbour, Aunt Gong's experience.

Aunt Gong has an only son who lives abroad. Eight years ago, her husband passed away due to a stroke, leaving her living alone. Her son, feeling pity for his mother, brought Aunt Gong over to live with him abroad.

However, things took an unexpected turn. Aunt Gong and her daughter-in-law didn't get along. In less than two months of living abroad, they had several arguments. Seeing the dilemma her son was in, Aunt Gong firmly chose to return home alone.

Upon her return, Aunt Gong's hair turned almost completely white. Initially, she didn't pay much attention to it. But every time someone saw her, they'd ask in astonishment, "What happened? Why did your hair turn white?" Each time she heard such questions, it caused her heartache and tears.

Hence, she decided to visit a hair salon and dye her hair black. People who saw her afterwards commented, "Wow! You look so much younger." Aunt Gong smiled and said, "My old partner left, but I am still alive. Since I'm alive, I should live well."

Looking in the mirror, she found she indeed didn't look as old, and she felt much better emotionally. Aunt Gong said, "When you're old, you can't rely on your son; he has his own family, and I must rely on myself."

After changing her mindset, Aunt Gong started exercising in the mornings, rested after lunch, played cards or danced with the old ladies in the neighborhood in the afternoons. When her health allowed, Aunt Gong frequently traveled and even found a new partner, beginning a late-life romance. She moved into her new partner's house and rented out her own.

She said, "Raising children may not prevent aging; instead of relying on children, it's better to rely on oneself."

As one grows older, they need three things: a healthy mindset, a robust body, and sufficient savings. Only with these can one avoid what the ancients said: "Life is short, and in the blink of an eye, old age arrives." In old age, facing many troubles, one can only slowly swallow them on their own.

"Others are not obligated to help you." When you fall, there may not always be someone to help you up; when you're short of money, there might not be someone to give you charity; when you feel aggrieved, there might not be someone to care. In times when no one assists, one must stand on their own; in times of poverty, one can only rely on their efforts; when there's no help, one must solve problems on their own. Self-reliance surpasses dependence on others; it's better to rely on oneself.

Between people, it's impossible to fully comprehend each other's sorrows and joys or truly experience the other's feelings. Even if others are good, in the end, you still need to rely on yourself to find true happiness. When facing the brutality of society, financial pressures, life's setbacks, the shattering of love, and the complexities of human nature, you gradually understand: you must be your own shelter, no longer needing to evade storms.

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