There is something seriously wrong with the Asian culture. We are taught from a young age that failure is not an option and success is expected. Receiving a 90% on your exam is considered shameful, a 100% is expected, and only receiving anything above 100% is considered good. Why are we raised this way? What good does raising young children this way do? My parents had told me that all this was all for a “better life” but is this true? Is waking up at the crack of dawn every single morning and struggling through a job you don’t even want, a “better life”?
I know intelligent, talented individuals that are doctors and engineers who are absolutely miserable. I know friends that want to physically throw themselves off the roof of their homes, all because of a number on a piece of paper, and I know friends who have thrown themselves off the roofs of their homes, all because of a number on a piece of paper. Is this the “better life” that you speak of?
In just my life, I have seen too many examples of the results of Asian culture. I know a hardworking and talented girl who cuts herself because her parents have conditioned her to believe she wasn’t good enough. I know a boy that hates himself because he loves another man, all because his parents taught him that being gay is shameful and disgusting. I’ve seen people come to school with bruises and scars because their parents are disappointed their child is not perfect. I’ve watched students have breakdowns in class because they know they won’t be able to get into the college their parents want them to go to.
Do you see how absurd and ridiculous this sounds? What’s more ridiculous is the fact that this is all true. That there are students and Asians out there who can read this, and relate. The fact that generations upon generations of children were raised, are raised, and will be raised this way. Is education and perfection a good thing? Yes, but at what point does it stop being the number one priority? What does it take for a parent to say “my child is worth more than their grades?”
I can already hear the complaints from readers, claiming that I’m just another hormonal teenager who doesn’t know what true hardship is. Maybe I don’t know what your struggles were, but that doesn’t mean you get to decide whether these are hardships or not. Maybe our situation could be worse, maybe there are things that matter more than the pressure that we have on us. But god forbid me for trying to get our voices heard. If you have not experienced what we have, then you have to right to tell us what are struggles mean. You do not know the stress that this causes, you don’t know the tears that have been shed, or the lives that this pressure has claimed.
Why do we need to continue this ridiculous culture? What has our goal of perfection turned us into? What did we accomplish through all this? A slightly higher income? A bigger house? But is this the “better life” we were suppose to have? We need to ask ourselves, “Was it worth it?” Were all the sleepless nights, the pain and tears, the stress and anxiety worth it? Because at the very end, the empty promise of a “better life” does not justify for all the lives that have been ruined.