Sunday, May 15, 2005


Every story needs to be about something

I want people to not cling so tightly to security and the status quo. I want young people to seek adventure not at Myrtle Beach, Panama City, or Cancun, but in helping other people and drinking deep from the diversity of the world. I have a dream that alcohol and caffeine are not the descriptors of college, but it is service and cross cultural experience. Most importantly, I dream that the word’s “can’t,” “too hard,” and “more than I can handle” be banished from our mouths.

Two month’s ago I was close friends with a sum total of less than half a dozen people of Indian descent. Now I have dozens, and Jillian and I are scheduled to bring her Art Camp to over three dozen more children in four separate organizations. We didn’t have contacts in India to visit and volunteer, nor did we have the budge to pay and volunteer with an organized group—but I emailed, searched online, and talked to as many Indian people as I could—and they welcomed us to their country. We now live with a fantastic host family, and have another planned in our next city. We have met with and discussed in depth about the country with half a dozen adults.

The point is: never think something is out of the realm of possibility. Never doubt your own potential. If Jillian and I started thinking that it would be too hard to create a summer camp in under 6 weeks for children half way around the world, we would still be sitting in West Lafayette. Uncertainty is a fact of life, and people can become more effective when they understand how to thrive in it. If the uncertainty of landing in a country and not knowing where we would stay the night of our arrival was too burdensome—we would not be here now.

I want other people to see something they want—and tenaciously run after it. To capture the prize through intensely hard work. I just graduated in Industrial Engineering from the number four IE school in the country – and had school work a-plenty to in the last month while we planned this trip. Going here meant much sacrificed sleep, missed exercise and less time with friends. Nothing worth having comes without giving up something valuable.

Every one of us is writing the story of our life. No matter what we choose we are scribing on the pages of our life in indelible ink with every action and inaction. I do not plan on relishing in the ending years of my life that I avoided this adventure, or saved myself from that inconvenience—but that I drank deep and sucked out every last drop of the marrow of life.

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