Atika Sikun

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Sept 14th, 1992 | Selangor, MY
"we only see what we want to see."

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Passion Over Principle.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 | Posted by Atika | 0 comment/s

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This is something I found in my dusty old files.A short story not written by yours truly.It was from a friend.It is inspirational for me.Decided to post it up here :)

"Good morning, class. We will be learning about occupations today," announced Mr. Chandra.

"Now, let me tell you a story about a boy, who was always determined to be a doctor."


Jonathan was a perfectionist. He lived by the principle, ‘never second, always first!' Although Jon was a determined boy, he was also ignorant at times.

He has always aspired to be a doctor, nothing less; and coming from a wealthy, accomplished family (his father, a business man, his mother, a dentist), going to medical school, cost wise, was well within reach.

However, dreams are not so easily accomplished. Jon's dreams reached a hurdle when the economy crisis hit Malaysia in 1997. His father had lost many shares in the stock market, and his company was declared insolvent. On top of that, his mother's clinic was not doing so well, due to the rise in rental and the decline in revenue.

To save the family, Jon's father had to sell off many properties, including the family's bungalow, and moved the family into a single-storey terrace house. All these barely meant anything to Jonathan. The only thing that mattered to Jon was the death of his dream.

Though Jonathan's ambition seemed quite impossible to reach, his determination, however, kept him from giving up. To keep his dream alive, Jon applied for countless scholarships based on his O-Level SPM results, but once again, the economy had robbed him off his chance. Many universities had pulled back their scholarship programs. However, he received two scholarship offers, one to study accountancy, and another to study commerce.


"Jon turned down both offers. He had no passion for the business field, and after all, ‘never second, always first!' He had no choice but to enroll for Form 6 in May 1998"

“Before I continue, does anyone have any questions?" asked the English teacher.

Shee Yee raised her hand, and asked, "How old was Jonathan at that time, Sir?"

"He was only 18."

"Now, it was in January 1999 when he started getting desperate."


At this point, Jonathan regretted his decision of turning down those two scholarship offers. It was really silly to be so picky in such desperate times. Still, there was no point crying over spilled milk.

Somewhere, somehow, there is sure to be a ray of light. Jon was going to sit for his A-Level STPM examination in November that year, which meant he still had ten months to find another way to get into medical school.

He decided to start his efforts from scratch: by raising enough funds to enroll into medical school. He started his quest for RM25000 by tutoring younger students. At first, Jon conducted lessons with a sole purpose of gaining an income. As time passed, Jon started enjoying teaching. The joy he got when his student finally understood a mathematical equation or a scientific concept. It was nice knowing that he could reach out and help someone succeed. Teaching wasn’t that bad after all.

By June 1999, Jonathan had only raised RM1000 via his tutoring efforts. That amount was far from enough for a place in medical school. At this point, Jon's only hope to achieve his dreams was a God-sent miracle.

He was lucky indeed, for he was blessed with a miracle by the Commonwealth of Nations in the form of an economical awareness essay-writing competition. The winning prize was £5000, which when converted to Ringgit, would be more than enough for his dream to come true.


"Obviously, he wrote his essay whole-heartedly, with the only hope of winning first prize."

"So did he win, Sir?" asked Dinesh.

"Did he?” Sharifah demanded to know.

"Well, you'll find out soon," Mr. Chandra replied with a laugh. "The following days were tough for Jonathan."


In addition to the growing anxiety of the competition results, Jonathan also had to juggle his STPM revision, his tutoring, and family constrains.

With Jon's father's company nearing bankruptcy, his father literally worked twenty-four hours a day. His mother's dentist clinic failed to survive the economic crisis, and she had been suffering from constant migraines.

The competition results finally came one day in September. Jonathan did not win first place, but he still earned the second place prize of £4000. And with that prize, Jonathan successfully raised RM29000.

And so, Jonathan's place in medical school was sealed. His dream was finally an inch away.


"That's a great ending, sir!" said Afiq.

"Yes! Yes!" smiled Keat Han.

"Ah! But that's not the end of this story!" Mr. Chandra said. "Jon faced another hurdle, again. This time, it was a much bigger obstacle."


The migraines Jon's mother suffered was merely symptoms of a greater health problem. Jon's mother had suffered a stroke a month before his major exam. His mother was admitted into the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital, but with the family's dried bank account, medication was scarce.

It was then Jon realised that perfecting his life was not solely about making his dreams come true. Sometimes, it meant helping others along the way, helping them make their dreams come true too.

So at dinner with his father one day, Jonathan made a huge decision that changed his life forever.

"Dad, I have got RM29000 in my bank account, and I'm using it to save Mom's life."


"What happened next?" asked Leila.

"Jon's mother's medication costs RM23000. With the remaining RM6000, he chose to enroll for a two year teaching course in the Tengku Idris Teachers' College. He is now a teacher," finished Mr. Chandra.

"Wow! He followed his passion, not his principles," exclaimed Rajoo.

"Is Jonathan your friend, Sir?" asked Yasmin.

"No Yasmin. I am Jonathan Chandra, and that was the story of how I became a teacher," replied Mr. Chandra.

The class stared at Mr. Chandra silently.

"Do you regret, Sir?" asked Ashraf, breaking the silence.

"No, not at all. In fact, I wouldn't have it any other way."

Joshua, who was silent all along, stood up with tear-filled eyes, and said, “You’re an inspiration, Sir. Thank you.”

So,I guess I'll follow my passion instead of my principle :)

Thank you,Yong Yun Ming :D

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