Flynn Honey, second place in AskPetersen Scholarship
Life starts like a dream. Babies see it through the mist of the first encounters with the surroundings. When they start exploring the world, they have no idea they will make changes in it. Some people awaken revolutions, whereas others cause more subtle changes in their closest environment. As individuals, we all have the power to make a difference. Our potential apparently depends upon the place of residence, economic conditions, religious and political environment, the status our parents have in society, and the current social conditions that determine the goals of each generation.
As individuals, we all have the power to make a difference. Our potential apparently depends upon the place of residence, economic conditions, religious and political environment, the status our parents have in society, and the current social conditions that determine the goals of each generation.
Although these factors influence my future, I still believe I’m the one who creates it. My own choices can erase the boundaries and get out of that invisible pattern imposed by society. In 10 years, I see myself as a humanitarian, making small, but meaningful changes for people who need compassion and love.
I believe that John Lennon grasped the essence of people’s goals in life with a single statement: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” Lennon was right: everyone’s aim in life should be happiness. When I think about my future, I try to figure out what would make me happy, and the only answer that comes to my mind is: “making other people happy.”
When I watch the news every day, I feel the plight of people who are suffering. I feel the anger of the abandoned, the tears of the dispirited, the passion of those in love, and the love of the enlightened. All this seems very poetic when I passionately explain to people what I want to be, but I’ve always seen myself as someone who understands people and makes them a little happier every day. In the course of existence, everyone experiences all emotions: happiness, love, pleasure, admiration, passion, hate, anger, sadness, jealousy, and so on. In that chaos of the mind and soul, the process of maturation inevitably imposes important questions: What is life? What’s my role in this world? What was I meant to be? What’s my calling?
When I was overwhelmed by the expectations of my parents and the standards imposed by society, I thought all these questions had an economical background. Finances are an important part of everyone’s success in life, and it seems like people’s success is measured by the amount they have saved in the bank. As I was growing up, I realized that these questions didn’t come from my wish to make money. They came as a result of the desire to know myself and the world that surrounds me. My duty is to expand my horizons and affect humanity with kindness and compassion.
I might not change the world in 10 years. However, the subtle butterfly effect of my actions will keep spreading wider and wider as I grow older and wiser. My goal in life is to be myself. It will be a difficult journey, but it’s the only thing that will make me feel good about myself. It would be naive on my part to only search happiness in material things and beautiful experience. The world is full of struggles and suffering, but it is still a beautiful place when I can do what I was meant to do.
Life is a gift that I mustn’t take for granted. Today, I am at a point of life that didn’t come by accident. All my decisions and actions took me here. That’s why it’s important for me to make each following decision with clear, focused mind. Every single action I make and every single word I say is part of my journey. In 10 years, I see myself on the same track: achieving happiness by helping other people to be happy.