About Giving Up

            In the poem “My Family,” Garrison Keillor tells a story about his great-grandfather’s unfulfilled dream – move to Oregon, a place where there are mountains and oceans. Since Keillor’s great-grandmother was too tired to go there, his great-grandfather stopped traveling and kept his dream in the depth of his heart.

            Similar to Keillor’s great-grandfather, in the journey of our lives, we also have our own dreams and goals, some of which may relate to families, careers, or some achievements that can show the values of our lives. However, we can’t realize all the dreams we have since there are some limitations and obstacles on the way of our journey. Those restrictions can be so strong that we can’t pass them with our efforts; on the other hand, they also can be very weak in some way, but we are still willing to give our dreams up because of something else that is more important to us. For Keillor’s great-grandfather, I think that the more important thing to him was his wife. When his wife said stop, he could abandon her and continue his journey, but he didn’t; he chose to give up pursuing the dream of Oregon and hide it inside forever.     

            This poem reminds me a lesson taught by the headmaster of my high school. She told me that everyone will have to make some important choices in his or her life. For example, you need to choose which university to attend, the work to do, and the person to marry. “Since your life is very short, you are not able to fulfill all your dreams and hopes within 100 or mostly less than 100 years; however, you can choose some important ones and use your whole life to achieve them.” I still remember the look she had when she told me this. I understand that I won’t realize all my dreams, so I have to consider what is more important to me. On the journey of my life, I have gotten something, and I will continue to get more. Also, I have lost something, and I must lose something more in the future, as gaining is often accompanied by losing. Therefore, I may give up some dreams as what Keillor’s great-grandfather did. I hope the action of giving up can be worthy, and I won’t regret doing anything. I’m sure Keillor’s great-grandfather didn’t regret in the end, as he got his wife’s company, which was more valuable than the dream he gave up; in addition, it was also a reward for his giving up.

2 Responses to About Giving Up

  1. tdenkar says:

    Dear Mae Hui,

    Yes, you are right. we have so many dreams and goals to be fulfilled. and it is so hard for us to achieve all our visions. So often times, we have to forfeit certain hopes. In the poem “My Family” by Garrison Kiellor, the grandpa gave up his dream of going to Oregon just because of his wife. This indicates that his family was more important than his dream of settling in the beautiful landscape of Oregon. In our life, we have to often sacrifice our dreams for the happiness of our loved ones. Like Suyuan told in the Joy Luck Club, being generous and selfless is the best quality a person can possess. Because he gave up his wish, he was happy with himself because his love for his wife was much stronger than his determination to fulfill his dream. This quality of the grandpa was very awesome and admiring.

  2. rstha says:

    Dear Mei,
    I agree with what you said that we must concentrate in one dream rather than getting lost seeking for all of them. As we move along, we encounter many things in life, but we must never be distracted with those once we have set a goal. Achieving a goal requires dedication and effort. It is better to travel in one boat than to get in trouble by putting one leg in one boat and the other in some other boat. Furthermore, sometimes we do need to give one thing for some other dream which is more intimate or more important to us. It’s difficult to decide, but it should be done in order to move ahead in life.

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