A Singaporean has thanked an old teacher, who made disparaging remarks against him due to his albinism, for giving him the determination to succeed. Sharing screenshots of an email he sent the senior teacher, Facebook user Levan Wee wrote:
“A letter I sent to my old teacher who looked down on me, from 21 years ago…Usually I don’t like to haolian / ‘show off’ until like this. But with THIS particular guy, I couldn’t resist – sorry. I’ve been wanting to write this letter for literally decades.”
Dr Wee recounted the incident that changed his life in the email. His English class at Victoria school had been particularly rowdy one day and the teacher singled him out. Pointing at a young Dr Wee, the teacher said: “Ler Ping (his Chinese name), You’ll be lucky to achieve what the rest of the class will achieve.”
When Dr Wee asked the teacher what he meant, the teacher cruelly responded: “You know what I’m talking about. You’ll be lucky to get half of what everyone gets…you’re not like other people.”
Dr Wee wrote to his teacher: “You were of course making a subtle – but no less pointed – remark on my albinism, in addition to the fact that you never really thought highly of me to begin with. You made it very clear you saw me as an albino imbecile.
“That short remark, which you have already forgotten, stayed with me for a long time. In fact, it shaped who I am today.”
Asserting that the teacher’s “condescending, bigoted, judgmental” remark pushed him to prove himself, Dr Wee shared that he became a successful musician before going on to further he studies and teach at a university.
Dr Wee has returned to Singapore and works here as a professional Social Media Strategist. Through his position, Dr Wee has the immense satisfaction of helping other artists achieve their dreams.
Calling on the people who read his post to define themselves instead of letting others do so, Dr Wee concluded his letter to the teacher with: “Thank you, sir. For everything, really. Your accidental inspiration and venomous comments changed my life.”
Read his email in full here:
A letter I sent to my old teacher who looked down on me, from 21 years ago.YOU define yourself. Don't let others….