One more cookie

January 21, 2009
By Hyoung Keun Kwon, Culver, IN

“Mom, why does it have to be Hyoung Keun?” my younger brother started complaining. “Why can I have one more cookie than him?” My mother’s answer would always be the same “You know Hyoung Keun is three years older than you. You can have what Hyoung Keun has three years later.”
As the eldest child in the family, I would have all the privileges that my younger brother does not have. Even when I chose to study abroad in the U.S., he readily told my parents that he wanted to study in the U.S. as well. I could feel how much he envied me; after all, he wanted to study in the U.S. more than I did. However, my parents once again promised him that he will have his chance three years later.

My brother knew my parents were lying. My family is not wealthy enough to support both brothers to study in the U.S. My parents expect much from me and give me the opportunity they cannot afford to my younger brother. However, my brother did not give up. He tried his best to achieve what he wants. Learning from my mistakes, he finds the best way to solve problems, and stays up late to finish his homework and extra workloads to improve. While I was receiving cookies baked by my mom, my brother was baking his own.
I was sorry that he had to do more to achieve less than I have. I would think of The Trinity by Uris in which the main character Connor Larkin was privileged over his younger brother. Although Connor did not do what his father asked him to do and his younger brother would always take care of Connor’s responsibility along with his own, Connor had the privilege to inherit the farm because he is the eldest son. Then I would ask myself. Why do some people have more than what I have? What makes me so different from other rich people who can afford to do anything they want to have? Then I would not have to worry about my brother losing his privilege. I don’t have to worry about my brother suffering from disparity between him and me. He would get what he works for.

Recently, he got into one of the finest boarding school in Korea and chosen as one of 23 students to receive full-scholarship. He is now able to study to go to universities in the U.S. I am proud of what he has achieved, but I still cannot carry away the fact that I was privileged over him. Every time I feel weak and wanting to give up on difficulty, I would think of my brother who has nothing I have.

I love my brother. He is one of the few people that I can trust in the world. I do not want him to feel bad about what he does not have. Thus, I am not giving up on anything. I will not let any complexity stop me but push forward to achieve the most I can to give him the chance to feel what I have felt as a privileged person. I want to bake my own cookies to give the cookies my mom baked to my brother.

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