Notes before the poem:
How did my definition of self originated: Back to elementary school, I was often bullied by some kids. Although the bullying did not really create apparent physical damage, it did impact me significantly psychologically. There was a time when I was seriously considering of committing suicide – if living brings me so much pain, why should I keep on doing so? As an effort to prevent suicidal attempt, I tried bring meaning to my life, which also requires me to define myself. Since there was quite some pain in my life, I realized the need to make the purpose of my life (hence the meaning of it) something different from pleasure, so that I may frame it as something higher than pain – when the purpose of my life is higher than any pain that may comes, I can overcome the suicidal desire for good. As I was often taught about the glory of my family’s past, it was the only thing that (back then) I would intuitively considered as higher than pain. Therefore, my definition of self (and purpose of life) is : I am an agent obligated to fulfill the ideals of my ancestors. As now I am obligated to champion these ideals, a suicide will be considered as discarding the responsibility. Thus, there is rational ground to say no to suicide.
Explanation of my definition of self: Although what exactly were interpreted as “ideals of ancestors” constantly evolves as my knowledge increases, there are several essential points that remain the same: 1. I should strive for the glory and benefit of house of Kuang; 2. I should strive for the welfare of my nation (NOT government) honorably; 3. I should strive for the welfare of humankind honorably; 4. I should never break promise/covenant, or discard any responsibility/obligation without agreement.
BTW: Although the comparative importance of the four elements is not always 100% clear, but generally, humankind > (almost equal) obligation > China = house of Kuang (as the relative importance is listed here, when a part is sacrificed for the betterment of another part with higher importance, I am not discarding my obligation without agreement.)
Why the word “Advance”: I have a lot short-term goals that fits into the defined purpose of my life, but there are also a lot of obstacles that keep me from realizing them: indolence, tiredness, etc. Therefore, I use the word “Advance,” as in I am fighting against these obstacles.
For the house of Kuang,
For the prosperity of China,
For the future of HUMANKIND!!!
I Shall Advance!