Dead Dreams

Dead Dreams.

That's what my dad has.

Arguments come up frequently when I video chat with either one of my parents. It had not been frequent like this before. I shouldn't let heated arguments occur, that's a sign that I'm still childish when I'm with my parents. The reason why arguments weren't frequent before is because our ideology were similar back when I was little, and that right now, our family is in huge suffering, and suffering cause people to explode easily.

My dream was denied by my father, and that upset me. It's probably the thing that would upset me the most, I wasn't even that upset when my parents thought they were going to split up. You see, my whole life is built on this dream of serving and changing the world in to a better place. That may seem like such a standard dream, but it is well thought out and not made based on naivety.

Every time I mention that I want to help others, my dad gets really upset, he would always say " Care about your own survival first. Without money you can't do anything" and "the world kills those who want to change it", and "some people are not worth helping." Yes, these statements are true, except of the "some people are not worth helping" one. I try to tell my dad that I understand the importance of money and survival, and how inevitably my own people would turn against me, and that at times it would seem the world would punish me for trying to help it, and I want to help others despite that. I don't agree with the statement that "some people are not worth helping", there is only the wrong way to help, nobody is not worth serving. I shed tears because having my father - the person who understands me the most - doubting my dream is one of the most worse things that could happen to my dream.

As the conversation went on, dad said: "You have no idea what we are going through." Yes, I have no idea because my parents keep our economic situation like a government secret. I desperately want to know how bad the situation really is, they never told me. It is so hard for me to act like I'm supposed to act with our situation because frankly, I have no idea what our situation is. Dad hinted that because he borrowed a big loan from the Chinese bank if he couldn't return the loan, he could go to jail. That hit me. Till now, the worst-case scenario in my head had been my brother and I not being able to go to school, I never imagined that my dad could spend years in jail for the loans he has. Hell, his life could be in danger right now. In China, people borrow big money from each other. That's just how business works. When somebody couldn't repay the load, they would be harassed, and if they still couldn't, they could be threatened, and finally, their arm might be cut off or they get killed. I don't know what to think. Is my dad's life in danger? I have no idea. How poor are we really? I know that we don't own a cent right now, we have loans and loans, and that's how I could go to university. My parents would give their life for me to go to university. I felt guilty coming here, now that I'm here there's no way back because to stop now would kill my parents, they would think their lack of ability caused the stop of my education here.

My parents are the hardest working parents in the world. All my classmates think that I'm the hardest working person they've ever seen, what they don't know is I can't afford to be not hard working. I have such dream, and such burden that I have to work even harder than this. This is not enough.

I couldn't be mad at my dad for denying my dream, I could only be mad at the situation that made him who he is. He was once the biggest dreamer and the most light-hearted funny guy. I can tell he denied my dream for many reasons, and reasons he might not even be aware of. He told me his dream was bigger than mine (though I doubt that, even here, I haven't expressed the full extent of my dreams)so when it got crushed, his disappointment was bigger than anyone else's'. He does not want me to get hurt, he doesn't want the same fate to happen to me. He said he helped others and they never repay him and only turned on him. I believe him, I know that's how the world is, but I'm not helping others, I'm serving others (who knows what would happen if I use the word serve instead of "help" in front of dad), and in serving, how others' react is irrelevant. I serve for myself, because of what I could get out of it (fulfilled emotionally and spiritually), not because of how others would treat me back. In dad's opinion, that would get me killed, I would be crushed by the world. The thing is, the world could never crush me, to follow my dad's words would crush me. I can't imagine live to survive, I want to survive to live. If my existence here, only serves myself, and my only goal is to survive, what is the point of it all? I would rather die than to have that as my purpose. I can only survive if I live for a dream bigger than myself, and I believe that success comes when you serve others. That means to not make yourself lose, no, you do not let others step on you, that only means to raise yourself up, so you can pull others up.

Dad may have similar ideas long ago. He was very hard working, probably harder working than me. Had he been born in this time, had he been given the opportunities I was given by him, he would have changed some parts of the world. He might have changed more than "some". The only difference between us is the situations we were born in.

It is very selfish for me to mention my dream to him. He and mom don't have the luxury of dreams, they can only struggle to survive to give us the chance to have a dream. My dad telling me to think only about survive first made me think that maybe we are at this stage where even my brother and I couldn't dream anymore. A dream is something my parents couldn't even dare to think of, yet I use the word so freely as if it's not given with the exchange of blood and sweat.

It must have been upset for dad to hear this dream I have, for it reminded him of his crushed ambition and dreams. Dad never told anyone what his dreams were, just remembering them would be too painful for him. He does not know it, but all that tried and failed would convince others that they would fail too. It would not occur to them that just because they failed, it doesn't mean others would.

I believe my dad's mistake to be giving up on his dream. His dream was only crushed when he crushed them with his palms himself.

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