Chemistry, Conflict, and the Red Bean Bun

Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?


So ubiquitously sold in the streets of cold breezes of winter in South Korea, a red bean bun brings deliberate warmth and joy to many people. Sold at a price of only forty cents back in the 90s, the red bean bun was more than just a snack; it was a cure, an ecstasy that helped many people resist and recover from the benumbing of the winter’s chill.

Unfortunately, though, the common snack brought me something other than warmth and joy; it brought me remorse and failure.

I did not know it was my fault. When my mother was taken to the hospital after falling down on the floor during a dinner before Christmas, I had no idea I was going to make her diabetes worse.

I saw my mom lying down on the hospital bed so feebly that I could not dare to lay my own hands on her. After the doctor had left the room, my dad and I gave the biggest smile trying to comfort her, and asked her if there was anything she wanted to eat. As soon as she spitted out the word ‘red bean bun’, my dad and I ran out the hospital to get a red bean bun, without knowing the fact that the type 1 diabetes was greatly aggravated by sweet food. I thought it was going to bring the same comfort and warmth to her like it did to me. I had no idea that the chemical effects of...

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