A match strikes up a fire, warming people’s hearts, brightening the dark in their darkest times.
Mr Tsang Wing Tong, my class teacher when I was Primary Five to Six, is the best teacher I have ever had. Those were the gone times, but he is always my match, the man who inspires me to learn from failures, and most importantly, to love others.
“I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead” was Mr Tsang’s maxim. Once my friends and I were in a model car designing competition. We got into the finals and left no stones unturned. In the final competition, we even replaced the car battery with a brand new one, but we lost.
I find it really hard to accept as we’ve put in a ton of effort into it. I was totally lost. I cried when I saw our car lose. My teammates were sad as much as I do. It was Mr Tsang who comforted me, told me “it’s okay”, and cheered me up. He said, “You may encounter failures, but you are not a failure! Learn from failures and you will succeed.”
But that’s still not my most memorable experience with Mr Tsang. During the summer holiday when I was Primary 5, I was so badly injured that I had to be hospitalised. It was awful to stay in a little ward every day. It was like a cage! Those were my darkest days. I could not even fall asleep as my parents were not by my side. Mr Tsang, having heard the news, was the first person to visit me, just after my parents. He chatted with me, empathised with me, and cheered me up. I still remember him saying,“Believe in God. He is the one who heals.” Perhaps most importantly, he gave me a match-shaped key ring.
On the match-shaped ring etched “do not fear, for I am with you”. It was a match which kindled hope in my heart.
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. I always put the match Mr Tsang gave me on my desk. It ignites hope in my darkest times, and reminds me to be a match for others like Mr Tsang. A match strikes up a fire, warming people’s hearts, brightening the dark in their darkest times.
Mr Tsang, you are a match for students. My gratitude to you is beyond words. You are always the man who inspires me, who enlightens me, who fill me with warmth and hope. Your words will always remain in my heart. I shall be a match as you are, living my life to the fullest and passing on the fire.