Recipients in the 2018/19 Academic Year
Associate in Business
Hong Kong Community College, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
I was a preterm baby born at seven months. Weak and running a fever then, I needed injections, which the doctor said might affect my hearing. When three years old, I was diagnosed with severe hearing impairment and started wearing hearing aids. It remains unsure whether it was my premature birth or the injections that had caused the damage. I went to a mainstream school where I was often ridiculed by classmates for my poor hearing in class. But does it mean that I should not have gone to a mainstream school? Is it really impossible for someone with hearing impairment to learn to play an instrument? Are people caught in difficulties supposed to cower in desperation?
I am aware that I was born without some of the privileges of the able-bodied. To survive in this highly competitive society, I have to work twice as hard as anyone else. There is no shortage of examples of people with disabilities achieving more than those who are able-bodied. If I let myself sink into despair and live in the shadow of disability, it will be like laying down my weapons to surrender without even setting foot on the battlefield. How can I possibly win a war like this? How would I know that I am not up for it if I have never tried? Failures are not terrifying. Setbacks are merely episodes in our life. We must learn from failures and grow with them. If you give up on yourself by denying yourself the chance to try, setting boundaries for your achievement and distrusting your abilities, you will only ruin your future. Instead of shrinking back from failures and losing heart, people with disabilities have even more reasons to learn to accept and overcome failures. We may be different from the others, but we can equally live a colourful and happy life, and shine in our own way!
Having the assistance and understanding of others at times of need certainly makes my path smoother. For example, when I had trouble hearing clearly in class, my classmates would repeat for me what the teacher said or let me borrow their notes; teachers often asked me how I was doing in school; and my double bass teacher would make allowance for the fact that my pitch was not as accurate as other students. In fact, many in the community are willing to lend the disabled a helping hand. But we tend to magnify our misfortune and forget about how lucky we are.
From another perspective, physical disability is hardly a defect. It is a gift from heaven rather. When someone is talking loud next to me, I can regain tranquility by choosing to switch off my hearing aids. When others are complaining about the loud roar of thunder, I remain unaffected and manage to have a sound sleep. Isn’t that great? These “benefits” are totally exclusive!
Lastly, I am very grateful for the award of the Endeavour Scholarship. I will make good use of it to further my studies. By sharing my story, I want to inspire others to gather their strength. No matter you are able-bodied or disabled, you are advised to brave adversities and live with failures. To find happiness in life, we should be appreciative of the all the good things and people around us and cherish what we already have.
Last Review Date: 25/06/2019