The Story of Xiao Ming

HusBenKoh had been at home for the past two days because our toddler, Breyen, was down with high fever and a very bad cough. HusBenKoh stayed home from work so that he could help me attend to our firstborn, Phoebie, while I focused on looking after the sick toddler.

One of the days that HusBenKoh was home from work, Phoebie had her weekly swimming lessons. We have seen Phoebie make great improvements in her swimming lessons and have been encouraging her to keep up the good work. However, the lesson that HusBenKoh had to bring Phoebie to didn’t go well.

Phoebie was required to learn new skills that were of higher difficulties and she was nervous and afraid to try. By the end of the swimming lesson, Phoebie was in tears because she didn’t dare to attempt the new skills. 

HusBenKoh and I have always told Phoebie that while we didn’t need her to train to be the best swimmer in the world, we just wanted her to try her best. Swimming is an important skill and it will keep her water-safe, so we weren’t going to let her give up.

Today, HusBenKoh had some alone time with Phoebie again as they both went out to run an errand while I stayed home with our coughing toddler. While in the car, HusBenKoh brought up the topic of the swimming lessons again. Phoebie told him that she wanted to stop taking swimming lessons because of her recent setback. 

HusBenKoh decided to tell Phoebie the story of Xiao Ming.


Xiao Ming had always dreamed of becoming a pilot. As a child, Xiao Ming would share his dreams with his friends, only to be laughed at. His friends who were smarter and better at their studies than him, they all had a good laugh whenever Xiao Ming talked about his ambition. 

“You’re not going to make it,” they would say, “You’re not as smart as we are.”

Xiao Ming was disappointed with his friends’ reactions, but was determined to make his dream happen.

As Xiao Ming grew older, he managed to attend a flying school where he could learn the basics of flying an airplane. While Xiao Ming achieved his first solo flight, some of his friends at the flying school didn’t even apply to take the test because they were too afraid to try. Others failed the first solo test and never tried again. 

Xiao Ming was determined to fulfill his childhood dream, so he went on to many different kinds of flight trainings. 

Today, Xiao Ming is a pilot by profession, fulfilling his childhood ambition. As for the friends who laughed at Xiao Ming because they thought that Xiao Ming wasn’t smart enough to be a pilot, they grew up to be surprised by Xiao Ming. 


Phoebie was intrigued by the story. “Is this a real story?” She asked.

“Yes it is,” replied HusBenKoh.

“If this is a real story, how come i have never read a story book about it?” Phoebie was confused.

“Well,” HusBenKoh said, “This story happened to a real person. I know this person and Mama knows this person too. One day, we tell introduce you to Xiao Ming. But do you know what is the moral of the story?”

“What’s moral?” Phoebie asked.

“Moral means the meaning of the story. The moral of the story is that you should never give up without even trying. Keep trying and keep learning,” explained HusBenKoh.

Phoebie was quiet. 

To my little girl, Phoebie,

Papa and I do not need you to be the best at what you do, but we pray that you will be someone who learns to persevere and never give up without putting up a good fight. Always give your all and your best in everything that you do. The results are not as important as your will and determination to try. If you ever fail at something, try and try again. As Dory of Finding Nemo and Finding Dory would say, just keep swimming. 

We love you.


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