Highly commended essay "My Dream Country" written by Xin Yong Lim.
‘Mom, I cannot stay home forever! Hate Covid-19!’
'Cheerful. Happy. Awesome. Nature. Good. Easy. It's CHANGE'. Mommy replied. ‘Be the President. Rule your own country tomorrow onwards’.
I read the acronyms many times. I realized we do not have to be the real President of a country to CHANGE the world. We just need to build the country of our dreams to make the change that can CHANGE the world.
I stayed CHEERFUL, made peace with my twin sister that I usually fight with. When daddy was sad not being able to work, I snuggle and cheer him. When grandma was sad, I praised her cooking that it was so awesome and she cooked tastier the next day. After all, I’m the President of my own country. I have the authority to curve the smile upward instead of downward. If I ever become a President of my own country named ‘JOYLAND’, it’s compulsory for everyone to post in Facebook or Instagram daily ‘I made this person smile today’.
Online classroom came as I missed my teachers and classmates. 2pm daily, Monday till Friday was my ‘HAPPY’ moment. I forgot that I spilled my cereals that day. I appreciate that one hour like I never did before. I completed my homework and screenshot into Google classroom, feeling accomplished. I would create ‘HAPPY’ HOUR in workplace at ‘JOYLAND’ for people to do what they are passionate about.
Imagine a secretary has an extra one hour break to cook for her colleagues or a teacher has an extra one hour from teaching Science to show her students gardening or on a guitar. More play time and it’s AWESOME to stay home to stay safe!
As the President of ‘JOYLAND’, we learned kids’ yoga and unicorn can be a yoga pose! Country of my dream connects lives with Mother NATURE. Grandma smiled when she harvested her first tomato and bunch of spinach. Mommy placed lemongrass at our bathrooms as natural insect repellents. When I am the real President, I would call for natural vitamins of lemonade to replace vitamin C tablets and Mother Nature is the top priority in everything!
Our neighbour cried she lost her job at a hotel. I wish I am the President and GOOD spending habits are nurtured from young. Banks reward when a child brings her piggy bank to the bank, unlock and handed the savings to the banker. Children would save for rainy days. Red carpet going to the counter in banks and machines built at children’s height. How cool! Surely children would love saving money and adults’ teary moments can reduce later on.
One day, I became grumpy and naughty. Grandma made my favourite omelette and said ‘EASY’. Take it easy, unhappy times will pass. The next week, I was allowed to return to school with special restrictions of wearing mask and social distance. I decided to take it ‘EASIER’ when things are tougher!
Surely, the country of my dream can overcome any challenge with C.H.A.N.G.E!
Cover-19 really made me CHANGE for the better. I hope everyone too will accept CHANGE for the brighter tomorrow. All of us can habe the country of our dreams! Dream and Be!
In the Age category 8 - 11 years, Xin Yong's essay sends a powerful message. Similar to her sister's award-winning essay 'Malaysia My Beloved Country'.
Xin Yong spreads inspiration and puts emphasis on the virtue of staying positive in these tough times. We wholeheartedly agree that change is much needed, remembering the strength of community and Mother Nature, sharing love and positivity is what makes challenges as the current pandemic so much easier to bear and overcome.
Well done, Xin Yong! Thank you very much for your extraordinary story 'My Dream Country'! Congratulations!
Xin Yong attends Chung Hwa One Chinese Primary School in Butterworth/Penang in Malaysia.
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