I’ve been struggling with how to be thankful. I think back to my elementary-school days, when all of us small children would flail out Sharpie-scrawled lists of “Things I’m Thankful For.” Common denominators among the class: food; my bed; my house; my friends.
I remember it was a kind of self-shock, consciously remembering the little things I take for granted. Count your blessings. Usually, that command implied a directive to compare ourselves with the less fortunate. Weigh yourself and your situation with those around you. There’s always someone worse off than you. At least you have food to eat, so why are you worrying about your grades? You should be thankful for what you have. The classic “There Are Starving Children in Africa” argument—finish your food. Continue reading
[Excerpt from a recent school assignment on success.]
Especially as a junior, as I’ve started to think about college admissions and the extent to which they should dictate my life, I’ve struggled a lot in the past few years about what success really means. Since my elementary school years, I held this firm conviction in my heart that I will be a real world-changer and my name will be bolded in the history textbooks of the next centuries. It was a belief that seemed obvious to me. How I would get there was a question I never deeply considered. I assumed that, because I’d been told I had a quick intellect and a natural talent for things, the opportunity to bend history would present itself naturally to me and I’d take it easily, succeed, and revel in my success for the rest of my life. I was going to be greater than King Tut and George Washington and Bill Gates. Soon… it would happen someday. Duh. Continue reading