Once there was a boy in my village named "Chieu." He was crippled in both legs and could hardly walk. Since he could not work he had no choice but to live on rice and vegetables which kind people gave him. Chieu was a weak, thin boy, who had no family; in fact, everyone tried to shun him whenever they would see him.
One day, my friends and I were walking toward to the playground. Often I saw Chieu sitting and watching the other children playing and running. So, I decided to invite him into my team, but my friends said, "No! He is a crippled boy, don't you see!" I replied "So, does it matter?" It didn't matter how hard I tried to explain; they still didn't agree to let him be part of my team. Unable to join us, he felt very miserable. I was so mad; I just wanted to beat those guys up! "It's okay", Chieu said.
To amuse himself, he practiced throwing pebbles at targets. He could spend hour after hour practicing his aim. Having nothing else to do, he soon learned to hit all of his targets. Other kids took pity on him and gave him more gravel to throw. What those kids did for him touched my heart. I just wanted to cry, but I tried to restrain myself. I walked toward to him and asked him many questions. Chieu mirthfully answered all of my silly questions. Besides his achievement of hitting all of his targets, Chieu could also make all sorts of shapes with stones on the ground.
The next day was a beautiful sunny day. Birds were singing, and dancing to greet the new day. There were a lot of people at the park having fun. Chieu was also there; he sat under a big banian tree, which provided him with a delightful, cool, comfortable shade under its thick leaves. Just as usual, Chieu aimed stones at the thick foliage and managed to carve it into the lines of animal forms, just as he did with his first throwing achievement. Because of that, he was very pleased at what he could do and soon forgot his loneliness. Because of his persevering, he never thought himself a crippled boy.
He had made me a better person, and I now open my heart more to everyone. He taught me never to draw back or be despondent in any kind of situation and always look ahead. At that time I had no idea that I would ever face a similar obstacle, but I soon did.
After years with unsuccessful attempts of learning Tai Chi (Kungfu), which I called "Self-Universal," I started learning it. From when I was a little kid until I was the same age as Chieu, which is fourteen I studied and then I stopped learning. Something always tried to disturb my innermost feelings. Not only did it perturb my innermost feelings, but also my power gradually seemed to be reduced. Tam Thinh, was my master. He did not often laugh or smile, he was just silent like a rock! Tam Thinh always seemed to be at ease. Me? I always felt unfocused and stressed. I tried to quit sometimes, but I just couldn't. "Don't give up!" I said to myself. Giving up? Even if I wanted to, there was no chance for me because my master's face somehow always appeared in front of me. This was it! No more mister nice guy!. I decided to walk into his living room with a respectful bow and say, " I would like to measure your strength." Master didn't say anything besides give me his mysterious smile. "What's wrong with you? Are you out of your mind? What are you thinking?" These questions hit me just like a reverberation of music, after I walked out. Although I have no idea why I wanted to measure his power, I just felt there was something pushing me. It took me overnight to understand why.
Finally, I understood everything. I decided to see Chieu to discuss the battle with him. I waited for him for over an hour, but still didn't see him. Instead of getting mad, I remembered what I had learned from Self-Universal and tried to calm myself. I sat on the top of the old colossal rock, which people in my village believed was a monster head because it looked like one. Chieu suddenly arrived when I was intending to go home.
Chieu - Hey there Kevin, what's wrong? Kevin - WellÃ¢ÂÂ¦Ã¢ÂÂ¦Ã¢ÂÂ¦..
Chieu - Yeah? Kevin - I've this kind of problem. Yesterday, I requested a battle with master.
Chieu - I see, did he say anything? Kevin - Master didn't say anything besides given me his mysterious smile, till now I'd still remember it.
I had a nice conversation with him; moreover, he gave me a lot of valuable advice. My heart's rhythm at that moment seemed to cool down and then the moment came when I faced my master. I won the battle; therefore, I don't feel right about this battle at all. I'm sure that my master let me win. However, I was proud of myself that I faced my own fear, which I always thought that I could never accomplish.
A crippled boy had made my life more meaningful. A crippled boy had made me understand the true meaning of life. Without his strength and his stimulation being part of me, I don't think I can improve my power as well as open my heart to anyone.