★ Written by Jang Eun-seok, Mog Young-gyo, My Q
★ Genre: Essay
★ Published in April 2009
★ 296 pages
“Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” (Joshua J. Marine) This sentence says everything about the points of this book that I want to introduce. Before I begin, I want to ask you about how you are doing. Are you doing something meaningful? Think about when you were in elementary school, middle school and high school. Your dream is getting smaller, isn’t it? I think that just getting a job cannot be a dream.
The writers of the book are asking ‘How is your youth going’ to every person who is living his or her life without dreams or even hope. In a society where profitless jobs are regarded as empty dreams and crushed hopes, these writers pushed for their dreams and overcame struggles in their paths to reach their goals by the end of their twenties. This book is about the challenges and struggles, and about overcoming them.
People want to have a dream and are willing to face challenges to achieve it. But in reality, they just experience frustration from failures. However, no matter how hard it is to make dreams come true, there are lots of people who have achieved their goals after going through problems. One of them is the Creative Director Lee Jae-suk. When he was in high school, he was not interested in studying and he just spent his time drawing cartoons in class. Actually, he was quite good at it, and his friends liked his drawings. His teacher noticed his talents. While he was taking drawing and painting courses, other people said “You are wasting your parents’ money. It’s hard to get a job and make money in the field.”
But his mother supported and encouraged him. He was top in his class and did his best in studying what he liked. After graduating from university, he applied for jobs but couldn’t get them, so he decided to go to New York to study abroad. He registered for courses in the New York School of Visual Arts. During his time in the school, he won lots of prizes in contests. Korean companies that heard about Lee started to give him proposals for jobs. And he has been working actively in the field ever since.
The poet Alfred D’Souza said “Love, as if you’re never been hurt. Dance, as if nobody is watching. Sing, as if nobody is listening. Work, as if you don’t need money. Live, as if today is the last day of your life.” Reality is not what you are facing now, but what you believe in. The important thing is not to care about the way they look at you, but to try again as if you’ve never failed. The short period of your twenties will never come back. Why aren’t we doing our best, suffering more and expecting our bright future?