My meditation teacher once shared with us this real life story of a friend of his. There was one a young boy who lived in an estate somewhere in Malaysia. The estate workers all live in poverty and most children quit school when they are very young to work in the estates. The young boy saw education as the means of securing a good future and getting out of poverty. He has no money to take the school bus and therefore walked everyone for 2 to 3 miles to his school. When he is hungry, most of the time he will just go to the washroom to drink tap water to fill up his stomach. But he was adamant to succeed in his education. He begged one of his teachers to give him tuition and promised to pay her as off when he has money.
The teacher who knew he was poor, had compassion for him and taught him on certain subjects that he was weak in. However his father strongly discourage him to study and often scolded him. Why spend time and money (on school uniforms and textbooks) when he can help out his father in the estates? The young boy tried very hard to help out his father whenever he does not need to go to school. However sometimes, he has to skip school just to help his dad.
But, the vision of what education can bring still carries strongly in his mind. He was determined not to give up on his studies.
The young boy’s perseverance finally paid off. He managed to do reasonably well in his studies. With the assistance of government scholarship which is given in recognition of poor students who excels well in estates, he was finally able to enroll himself at a local university. Today, he is now a successful professional earning a 5 figure monthly income. He has elevated his family from poverty. His family no longer live the hard life in which his father has been accustomed all his life.