I''m short. I''m five foot five-well, five foot six if I want to impress someone. If the average height of American men is five foot ten, that means I''m nearly half a foot shorter than the average Joe out there. And then there are the basketball players.
My height has always been something that''s set me apart; it''s helped define me. It''s just that as long as I can remember, I haven''t liked the definition very much. Every Sunday when I was in grade school my dad and I would watch ESPN Primetime Football. Playing with friends at home, I always imagined the booming ESPN voice of Chris Berman giving the play-by-play of our street football games. But no matter how well I performed at home with friends, during school recess the stigma of “short kid” stuck with me while they were choosing teams.
Still concerned as Senior year rolled along, I visited a growth specialist. Pacing the exam room in a shaky, elliptical orbit, I worried, “what if I''ve stopped growing? Will my sociall status forever be marked by my shortness? ” In a grade school dream, I imagined Chris “ESPN” Berman''s voice as he analyzed the fantastic catch I had made for a touchdown when – with a start – the doctor strode in. Damp with nervous sweat, I sat quietly with my mom as he showed us the x-ray taken of my hand. The bones in my seventeen year old body had matured. I would not grow anymore.
Whoa. I clenched the steering wheel in frustration as I drove home. What good were my grades and “college transcript” achievements when even my friends poked fun at the short kid? What good was it to pray, or to genuinely live a life of love? no matter how many Taekwondo medals I had won, could I ever be considered truly athletic in a wiry, five foot five frame/体型? I could be dark and handsome, but could I ever be the “tall” in “tall, dark and handsome? ” all I wanted was someone special to look up into my eyes; all I wanted was someone to ask, “ could you reach that for me”
It''s been hard to deal with. I haven''t answered all those questions, but I have learned that height isn''t all it''s made out to be. I''d rather be a shorter, compassionate person that a tall tyrant. I can be a giant in so many other ways： intellectually, spiritually and emotionally.
I''ve ironically grown taller from being short. It''s enriched my life. Being short has certainly had its advantages. While I was growing up in earthquake prone California, for example, my teachers constantly praise my “duck and cover” skills. The school budget was tight and the desks were so small an occasional limb could always be seen sticking out. Yet Chris Shim, “blessed” in height, always managed to squeeze himself into a compact and safe fetal position. The same quality has paid off in hide – and –go – seek.(I''m the unofficial champion on my block.)
Lincoln once debated with Senator Stephan A.Douglas – a magnifyicent orator, nationally recognized as the leader of the Democratic party of 1858 … and barely five feet four inches （1米64） tall. It seems silly, but standing on the floor of the Senate last year I remembered Senator Douglas and imagined that I would one day debate with a future president. (it helped to have a tall, lanky, bearded man with a stove – top hat talk with me that afternoon.) but I could just as easily become an astronaut, if not for my child – like, gaping – mouth – eyes – straining wonderment at the stars, then maybe in the hope of growing a few inches (the spine spontaneously expands in the absence of gravity).
Even at five feet, six inches, the actor Dustin Hoffman HELD HIS OWN AGAINST Tom Cruise in the movie “Rain man” and went on to win his second Academy ward for BEST Actor. Michael J. Fox (five feet five) constantly uses taller actors to his comedic advantage. Height has enhanced the athleticism of “Muggsy” Bogues, the shortest player in the history of the NBA at five foot three. He''s used that edge to lead his basketball team in steals (they don''t call him “Muggsy” for nothing). Their height has put no limits to their work in the arts or athletics. Neither will mine.
I''m five foot five. I''ve struggled with it at times, but I''ve realized that being five –five can''t stop me from joining the Senate. It won''t stern ( 阻止，遏制) my dream of becoming an astronaut (I even have the application from NASA). My height can''t prevent me from directing a movie and excelling in Taekwondo (or even basketball). At five foot five I can laugh, jump, run, dance, write, paint, help, volunteer, pray, love and cry. I can break 100 in bowling. I can sing along to Nat King Cole. I can recite Audrey Hepburn''s lines from Breakfast at Tiffany''s. I can run the mile in under six minutes, dance like wild monkey and be hopelessly wrapped up in a good book (though I have yet to master the ability to do it all at once). I''ve learned that my height, even as defining characteristic, is only a part of the whole. It won''t limit me. Besides, this way I''ll never outgrow my favorite plaid short.
上高二时，我仍然担心着自己的身高，就去看了一名增高专家。我一边在检查室里的那个晃动着 的椭圆形轨道上踱步，一边焦虑地想：如果我停止长高怎么办？我的社会地位将永远被标着一 个“矮子”的记号吗？我回想起一个上小学时常做的梦，梦里回荡的全是ESPN台克里斯•波尔曼的 声音。他在解说一场橄榄球比赛中我的一个精彩按球触地动作……就在这时，医生打断了我的“白 日梦”，大踏步地走进检查室。我紧张地出了一身冷汗，乖乖地坐在我妈身边，听着医生讲解我手掌的X光片。在我17岁的身体里，所有的骨骼都已成形，我将永远不可能再长高了。
哦！回家的路上，我紧握着方向盘，满心的沮丧和失落。当朋友们都因我矮而取笑我时，优秀的 学习成绩和大学成绩单还能给我带来什么好处？为一个充满爱的生命的祈祷能有什么用？不论我 已经获得了多少空手道的奖牌，在一个瘦小的5英尺5英寸高的框框下，能被真正看成是一个运动员吗？我能变得“黝黑”和“英俊”，但我能变得“高大”，就是“黝黑和英俊”里的“高大”吗？我所想要的一切也只是想让一个特别有声望的人能仰头望着我的眼睛；我所想要的一切也只是希望有人能 问我一句：“你能帮我够到那样东西吗？”
非常小，到需要避震时，我们就得躲到课桌下，一不小心，胳膊或腿就露在课桌外，失去保护。 然而我——克里斯朵夫•史姆同志，却被他的身高“关照着”，总能设法将自己压缩在一个安全范围中，妥善地保护自己。这种优势还曾令我在“躲藏——前进——找”的竞赛中获利（我是我们属区 非正式比赛的冠军）。
林肯曾和议员斯坦芬•道格拉斯辩论过。斯坦芬是一名优秀的演说家，被全美公认为1858年民主党的领袖。他只有不到5英尺4英寸高。这也许听起来好笑，不过去年的某一天我站在议会厅中， 想起了道格拉斯议员，并想象着将来有一天我也能象他一样和未来的美国总统辩论（在那个下午，一个高瘦高瘦，满脸胡须，戴一顶象炉灶顶的帽子的人与我的谈话使我受益非浅）。我还想 成为一名宇航员，因为我曾整天张着大嘴仰望星空。幻想着我在太空中因失重而脊椎骨伸长，摇 身一变成了一个标准身材的人。
虽然只有5英尺6英寸高，男影星达斯汀•霍夫曼却能让自己和汤姆•克鲁斯在电影《雨人》中同台献技，赢得了他第二个奥斯卡最佳男主角奖。迈克尔•福克斯（5英尺5英寸）不断地运用比他身 材高的男演员与他一起达到他在喜剧效果上的优势。在NBA篮球史上最矮的、只有5英尺3英寸的伯格斯在体育界出尽风头，他用身材矮小的优势带领他的篮球队友们施展“偷球”本领（所以大家 叫他“马格希”不是没有道理的，他是很受欢迎的。）他们的身高不论在文艺上或是体育上都没有 限制他们的发展，身高也绝不会束缚我。
我5英尺5英寸，曾多次为此尔挣扎，但我已意识到，5英尺5英寸既不会阻止我加入议员的行列， 也不会阻止我成为宇航员的梦想。（我甚至已经有了申请NASA宇航学院的申请表）我的身高也 不会限制我导演一部电影并在空手道竞赛中又出色表现（或者甚至是篮球赛中）。身高5尺5，我 能笑、能跳、能跑、能舞、能写、能画、能帮助别人、能成为志愿者、能祈祷、能爱、也能哭。 我能打破保龄球100分的记录，能和Nat King Cole一起唱歌，能一句不落地背诵电影《蒂芬尼的早餐中》奥黛丽•赫本的台词，能在6分钟内跑完1海里，能象一只野猴一样狂舞或全神贯注、 不可救药地被一本书深深吸引（虽然我还没有本事同时将所有这些事一起做完）。我已经懂得身 高虽然是我的标志，但只是我生命中的一部分，它不能限制我。而且，这样的身高，我永远都不 用担心有一天我会穿不下我心爱的格呢衬衫！