Audacious Confrontation: Parallel Journeys to Overcoming Hardship | Teen Ink

Audacious Confrontation: Parallel Journeys to Overcoming Hardship

July 27, 2008
By Dongeun (Jane) Seo GOLD, Davis, California
Dongeun (Jane) Seo GOLD, Davis, California
11 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Whether you are a stressed out teenager wrapped up in piles of homework or an aspiring author tangled up in a scandalous accusation for plagiarism, we encounter obstacles in our daily lives. When confronted with difficulties, most people seek the easy way out – simply ignoring the problem. Unfortunately, people merely stall the inevitable results and hasten the detrimental conclusions by refusing to admit and face impediments. The dauntless Rosa Parks, however, proved to the world that even the most formidable foe is conquerable through conviction, courage, and determination.
Rosa Parks epitomizes the virtue of an individual who, regardless of consequences, follows her true beliefs. Rosa Parks endured cruel torment and disdain as she secured her seat in a segregated bus in Montgomery. As the police carried her way, she remained stoic, inured to the taunting of others. Instead of recoiling in inferiority, Rosa Parks pursued and fought for her rights, freedom, and hope. Not only did her simple, yet groundbreaking, act of bravery propel other luminaries like Martin Luther King, Jr. to advocate equal rights, but it has also guided my personal path to discovering and surmounting obstacles.
When my family immigrated to the United States from Korea, I had a difficult time adjusting to my new life. An introvert by nature, I withdrew nervously when a friendly group of girls approached me, and refused to speak with others at school for the fear of humiliating myself. Just as I began to understand some spoken words of my peers, a boy named Manuel taunted my broken English by retorting, “Jane’s dumb.” Fortunately, I neither deflated from his remark, nor begged my parents to move back to Korea where I used to be “the smart, popular girl”; instead, like Rosa Parks, I endured and decided to prove people like Manuel wrong.
From then on, I attempted to engage in conversations with others, even if my involvement only meant replying yes, no, and an occasional maybe to throngs of incomprehensible questions. I voraciously read books written for children two grades below me, and eagerly concocted short stories every night no matter how many grammar or usage errors I made. Furthermore, I answered all the math questions in class, proudly glancing at Manuel every time the teacher applauded me. Towards the end of the school year, when a classmate invited me to her sleepover birthday party, I realized I had finally conquered the seemingly insurmountable challenges of learning a new language, adapting to new culture, and befriending others of different races.
More than fifty years have passed since Rosa Parks demonstrated her admirable act of courage, yet the impact of her influence persists to this day. Rosa Parks shattered a racial barrier, whereas I climbed over linguistic and cultural walls. Ignorance and avoidance are not the answers to overcoming hindrances. Rather, as American writer Orison Swett Marden stated, “Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we make up our minds to walk boldly through them.”

The author's comments:
Jane hopes that the readers bounded to their personal difficulties will gain courage to crawl out and overcome their fear.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Apr. 8 2014 at 2:14 pm
its such an expiring message