For 32 years, I’ve trampled across our “pale blue dot.” With every step, action, and decision, I hope I have made an impact. I hope the measure of my life is intensely focused not on what I have, but rather on what I have given. I hope I’ve made you laugh. I hope I have made you look at the world differently. I hope I have helped you pay less attention to what divides and rather move your energies toward our commonalities. I hope my failures and disappointments taught us both lessons. I hope your scars are short lived and easily healed by the hands of time. I hope I have spent my 32 years on this planet well.
As a kid, undergraduate or graduate student, I never imagined in my dreams I would be where I am today. My dreams were much more wild and filled with revolutionary thoughts. My revolutions have been quiet and small, but they were made. I haven’t made an appearance on the cover of Time. The change I want to create with my heart and mind isn’t debated over, blogged about or dissected in your corner coffee shop. My friends, family and complete strangers aren’t sharing my story far and wide.
Turning 32 isn’t about lowering my sights. I am still living by the creed introduced to me as a boy. I fully intend to shoot for the stars, but I won’t be disappointed if I can lay claim to the moon. For me, 32 and the years that follow will be defined not by dreams unrealized. Rather, they will be defined by what I have accomplished. My days from here on out will viewed through the lens of pride. I desire to treat myself more fairly. I want to quit comparing myself to those I admire. I need to be my own man. I am here to do the best with what I have been presented; everything else is out of my hands.
Here, I believe there is a lesson for all of us. We are often our harshest critics. Usually, we only see the tree in front of us without fully taking in the forest we have planted. If we use our time wisely and strive for kindness, compassion, and care, I think we would find ourselves astonished by what we can and have achieved. As I step forward into my next year of living, that is what I hope to accomplish. As I continue to put myself out there for employment and volunteers opportunities and as I feel the sting of disappointment, I hope to remember this mission statement. As I try new things and test the limits of my perceived capabilities, I hope to remember this mission statement. As I set out, not to change the world, but rather someone’s world, I hope to remember this mission statement. It should guide me in the direction I am to go. It is my wish it will do the same for you.
Be good to each other,