From Homeless to Harvard 流浪女成功記

Julie Hu DVGS 10th Grade


A turtle could run faster than a rabbit, a bee could cause more damage than an eagle, and a homeless person could be as successful as a wealthy person. The reason why it is possible is very simple: perseverance, determination and hard-work. The movie From Homeless to Harvard is about a girl named Elizabeth (Liz) Murray, or Liz. She was born in a household where her parents were drugs addicts, they were living in extreme poverty and never had 3 meals a day. She did not attend school for most of her childhood. Although everything was against her, she never gave up. She was able to turn her life around and became successful with positive thoughts. No matter how challenging and tough our life is, as long as we have determination and apply good effort, we will turn things around and succeed.

Liz’s problems started because of Liz’s parents’ addiction to drugs. They were so addicted that they would spend all their money on drugs. The family was extremely poor that they would skip meals. Liz was eight when she started to work in order to fill up her empty stomach. Life was unjust but no matter how foul it was, she never gave up, never gave into the temptations while living with a such family. She never tried drugs either when she had the opportunity every single day. She tried really hard to get into a high school even though she was homeless. The fact that she did not go to school for the majority of her childhood did not stop her from doing well in her studies or weaken her will to learn.

Liz did not wait for God to throw fortune at her, nor did she wait for scientists to invent grains that would grow money. She took the responsibility to take care of her own life. It was due to knowing that her existence was meaningful that her determination grew which led her to success. There is always a way to turn life around, and only fools do not know that. Everyone who knows of her story might also be aware that Liz was anything but a fool. She was only a child when she changed her destiny.

From the very beginning, Liz had to be on her own and yet she never complained to her parents.  Liz still maintained family reverence by taking care of her mother when she contracted AIDS and we should all learn from that. No matter how bad life gets, there’s always a way to change it for a better future. However in order to change our whole existence, we have to be extremely determined and have faith in what we are doing. We must also understand that we control our own life, no one else is responsible for what we are doing. We are the only master of our actions, we cannot always rely on others. Liz understood these principles right from the start. This movie is also related to what we have learned in Buddhism class.

The independent, mature, smart, filial, responsible and hard-working, Liz had most of the qualities required to be a successful person. She is a very good example since she shows us that no matter what the situation is, we must not take drugs to escape pain. Drug is the poison that ruined her parents’ life and destroyed her childhood. Even though Liz’s parents were not really good parents, Liz held family reverence very strictly and never abandoned her parents. Later, her mother died from AIDS.  We have learned that using shared syringe to inject illegal drugs is one of the fastest ways to spread HIV.  Learning to follow the moral guideline of no sexual misconduct is also another lesson to learn in life because one can contract HIV through syringes and improper sexual activities.  In short, illegal drugs, improper sexual activities and HIV are all interrelated; we should avoid them. Liz wisely kept herself away from all the wrong and unhealthy things her parents did which helped her become the successful woman she eventually become.

Everyone has the ability to be successful in life, determination is the key.  We must have the determination to do the right thing, and be responsible for our actions. Everyone has the capacity to improve our life style and environment as long as we are not lazy or absentminded. It is not easy to become a successful person but with effort, everything is possible regardless of the situation is. As long as we all have determination and responsibility, we can definitely make a change – a change that will turn our entire life around.

 

流浪女成功記

胡月琦  文  培德女中十年級                    謝雨珊  中譯  培德女中十二年級

一隻烏龜可以跑得比兔子還快,一隻蜜蜂可以比一隻老鷹更具破壞性,而一位流浪漢到最後也可以跟富翁一樣成功。這些都是因為他們擁有不屈不撓、努力上進的精神和定力。流浪女成功記的電影敘述一位少女伊莉莎白(莉絲)‧瑪瑞不幸出生在低收入的家庭。她的父母都是吸毒的「癮君子」。因為父母的毒癮使原本已經貧窮的家庭更困乏。這一切的一切導致莉絲在年幼時就失學及三餐不繼。雖然表面上看來老天對她很不公平,但她從未自暴自棄。正向的信念反而扭轉了她的人生,並有了一百八十度的改變。無論我們的人生有多少挑戰,有多麼的坎坷,只要我們有毅力努力不懈,我們必定可以轉變所面臨的任何逆境。

莉絲所有的不幸都源於她的父母親吸毒成癮。他們可以為了買毒品耗盡家裡所有的錢,也可以為了吸毒,三餐不吃不喝。當時才八歲的莉絲就得要打工填飽自己的肚子。不管現實的生活有多麼的不公平,莉絲都沒有放棄過自己。她也從不埋怨她的出生背景。即使她有很多的機會可以吸毒,她連一丁點的毒品都沒碰過,反倒更努力的求學。即使她當時是街頭的流浪漢,無家可歸的背景絲毫不削弱她的求學意願及影響她的能力。

莉絲沒有夢想老天爺會賜給她好運氣,她也沒有等待科學家發明會自動生錢的機器。她只是努力的盡自己的本份。堅忍不拔的意志力,使她成長茁壯,她也勉勵自己不論遇到甚麼難題,一切都有轉圜的餘地,而這個道理只有愚蠢的人才沒有發現。我想每個知道她故事的人都可能知道她不是位愚蠢的,因為她還很小時就改變了自己的命運。

莉絲從小就得獨立,靠自己的本事賺錢求生存,但莉絲從不跟她的爸媽抱怨或計較這些。她在母親得了愛滋病時,仍然孝順她。無論人生有多悲慘,凡事都有轉機。她讓我們了解要有強烈的信念及毅力,我們才有能力改變命運。我們的人生掌握在自己的手上,而不是別人的手上。我們更不能凡事都依賴他人,因為自己才是自己的主人。我們要對自己的行為及思想負責,而莉絲一開始就明白了這個道理。這跟佛教中的因果道理是相通的。

莉絲是位獨立、成熟、聰明、孝順、負責任及努力上進的女孩,而這些特點都剛好符合成功人士的條件,所以我覺得她給了我們很好的示範。她的故事啟發了我們——人們不管處在多惡劣的環境,都不能靠嗑藥讓痛苦停止,能出淤泥而不染才是最重要的。即使毒品是破壞她童年及父母的罪魁禍首,即使她的母親沒有盡好當媽媽的責任,即使她的父親沒有好好的養育她,她還是守著自己的本份——孝順、負責。她也從未拋棄她的父母!由於她的母親最終死於愛滋病,我們學到注射毒品者共用針頭、針筒是愛滋病毒散佈最快的方法。我們也學到避免性濫交是人生一門必修的功課。因為愛滋病不只是經由注射器的針頭會感染,也可能會因為不明的性生活而引起的。總之,色、毒、愛滋病是有聯帶關係的,我們應該注意。莉絲有智慧的的避免了犯這些有不堪設想後果的錯誤,而這也是她最後能夠成功的原因之一。

其實,每個人都有成功的潛能,毅力是關鍵的成功要素。只要我們不偷懶怠惰,每個人都有改善自己生活環境的能力。要成為一個成功的人並不是件容易的事,但是只要我們在任何環境中努力付出,做對的事,對自己負責及保持堅忍的毅力,每個人都有能力可以改變 — 一個讓生命有所轉折的改變。