In Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck chose to follow his own belief and saved Jim. In order to save Jim, Huck was willing to even fall into the pit of eternal suffering. Like Huck I also have some disagreement over the beliefs of people around me.

Back in primary school, my mom was friend to several families whose kids have similar ages to me. Unlike in the US, primary schools were already surrounded with the heat of competition in Asia. As a result, I was often compared with the others. Every time the moms met, they would start asking each other questions like “How’s your daughter doing?” To anyone else, it might have been the equivalent of “how is she”. However, to their kids, the subtle meaning was very clear: “What’s her rank in class? What sport team is she on? Any awards?”

The inquisitions often made me felt like I was not accomplishing anything comparing to the others. For a short term, the sense of dissatisfaction did no more damage than making me sulk for a short time. However, as time flew, the feeling of inferiority started to develop. The ugly hole would eventually evolve into uncontrollable irritation toward family members, friends, and myself. I was disgusted and annoyed by this anger because I knew that it came from somewhere no more than the parents’ chattering. The comparisons made me question the friendship between my friends and I, for I knew that if my grade fell, my friends’ parents would pull their children away from me – they believe deeply in the bad influence among peers. So was the friendship based merely on grades? It was as if the parents were merely using the kid with the good grade as an example for others to follow like a tool. If he or she’s average suddenly dropped, I had no doubt that his or her “friends” would vanish like a puddle under the sun.

Comparison will always be one topic that I cannot fully agree on with the parents. I think that developing my own goals and doing everything to the best of my ability will lead me much further than surviving solely on comparison.


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