Thick envelope and thin envelope
Dear Pablo; your mom informed me that you received thick envelopes from three colleges. Congratulations. She also said there were four thin envelopes in the mail box that included the two from your ultimate colleges of choice. I’m sorry, Pablo. Mom then whispered to me that you are disappointed, upset, frustrated and angry.
I’m not writing this letter to comfort you at this time because I do not think you need it. What you need, and we all need, is a change in our thought. No one said you would be accepted by the top colleges in the eastern corridor of the United States. There was no guarantee from the beginning. Life itself has no guarantees. Nothing is permanent. Things always change in the way you do not want them to.
A new life begins from there; learning from bitter experiences and putting them behind. It is not your concern who went to which college, nor is it your business.
Your brother says you have not had a single bitter taste of disappointment. It seems about time you should have one now rather than later. I think your brother has a point. I’m impressed to see that he has matured. If there is Something Great, or God if you like to call it/him, in this universe, He is leading you in this way in order for you to be successful in the future. He is guiding you with the long term in mind. Just accept His lead and make it your way.
You say you wanted to become a great entrepreneur. You knew that the name of the school you would have attended would not have much influence on your future career. Mine certainly had not. Do not be a diploma displayer, and be swayed by college rankings. Increase your own ranking in college. You have done what you could do to the best of your ability, we all know that, and there is nothing to regret about your past endeavors. You have not done anything wrong. Your grandmother Ham and I wish you accept the college God, or Buddha as in Ham’s case, is guiding you to attend, and put everything behind you. Be a late bloomer rather than trying to blossom too early when there are not enough bees and butterflies.
A recent article in The Korea Times said money may not buy happiness, but beauty buys both money and happiness. That is for women. I’d say for boys that a diploma may not buy happiness, but the flexible brain and hard work can buy both money and happiness. Accept gracefully one of the invitations in the thick envelopes, and throw away the thin ones.
``Don’t give up your dream, you can achieve it!” Sounds beautiful. Or does it? Would you keep chasing your dream? Or would you rather accept the facts. Philosophy, abandonment or resignation resonates more beautifully and those are the key words to live happily in this world. Please remember we learn a lot from failure and setback and the feeling of frustration, not from the joys of success. And success in life always comes after a failure or two and not the other way around.
Let me quote the precepts of my elementary school education in Japan which are carved in a large granite stone in Japanese: Appreciate the past, Believe in today, Have hope in the future. The words are also carved deep in my heart. If you come to Seoul in the summer, I’d like to take you there and show you the mossy sculpture.
Please enjoy today crewing in Florida and get some tan.
Grandfather, in Seoul
The writer is a retired architect-specifications writer, who lives in Seoul and New Jersey. He can be reached at email@example.com.