I’m Adeline Yen Mah, author of “Chinese Cinderella” and “Falling Leaves”. Thank you for having me in this very special night.
Firstly I will start with something simple. Please close your eyes and open your hands. Now imagine what you would like to place in your hands. It could be anything: a school report full of A+ and certificates, a wallet, even a house; it doesn’t need to be a specific object that fits. Now open your eyes. Would anyone here like to share with us what they had? (wait for hands up from audience) Okay you. What did you want? (the audience says) How about you? (point at someone else). That’s fantastic.
For me, I would want a pile of books (picture).
I know this might sound a bit weird to you all who expect something more complex and interesting. You might be thinking: “Really? Is that it?” Yes that’s exactly what I have wanted all my life. Every time I read a book, I imagine that there comes from the pen of the author a profound original thought; and once I have read it, I will never go completely back to where I was before. That’s the kind of book that we all love to read. The kind of book you may hesitate to lend for fear you might miss its company. The kind of book that echoes from the heart of one that life may be more than it seems, or even less. The kind of book that urges you to take an action. What if an author didn’t put her pen on paper and write down her story? There would be no chance it could have the potential to encourage someone, including me, to make a change to the world. And that is exactly what I expect to achieve tonight. (pause)
I’m quite sure that everyone here is facing some sort of changes and de...
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...d of the day, it only matters if you 're happy by your own standards. If you have no idea what those are, then it 's time to do some soul searching before you move forward. In spite of what others would have made you believe, please be convinced that each of you has deep within you something precious and unique. The one thing that you have but nobody else has is YOU. (pause) (slowly emphasise) Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So study and write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. You do not need a fairy godmother like Cinderella in the fairy-tale so that you can go to the ball with a stunning outfit. She is right here, in your heart. (pause)
So, we have arrived now at the close where we began. We 've heard what we have to do. We 've seen what we need to do. I can do it; you can do it too. Let 's do it together.
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