I think it's important every once in a while to ask yourself what you really, truly want from your life. I'm realising more and more that I don't want to conform to society's ideals. I don't want to work 40 hours in a job that I don't really like. It just doesn't appeal to me.
I want to travel. I want to take pictures of said travels. I want to make change with my photos. I want to meet new people. I want to have deep connections with people from very different walks of life from me. I want to help people. I want to inspire people. I want to give hope to those that have had a difficult life.
I've always had this embedded desire to help. Innate. I suspect it is a gift that my grandmother gave to me when before she died. I remember being 5 or 6 and we were at the super market together. She never had much money but was generous (she was quite active in our church as well). I remember her intentionally selecting a bag of rice that had the World Vision logo on it. I asked why she had picked that one and she explained that "she was just doing what she could to help". I remember her asking me to make sure that I did all I could.
When I was 15 or 16 I suffered a spout of insomnia. It was actually pretty annoying but allowed me to be insanely productive. I would watch lots of documentaries. One that really affected me was on Muscular Dystrophy. I just remember feeling so much hurt for those families affected. I was so frustrated that one error could cause so much pain and difficulty. One little change. I felt compelled to study Genetics because I wanted to find a cure for that and Cancer and I wanted to save the world. Somewhere along in my studies I lost interest in spending my time in a lab all day. I wanted more personal interaction from my life. I couldn't decide whether it was really that beneficial to cure genetic errors. Obviously if it was a family member of mine that was affected, I'd want a cure. On an individualistic scale it is a really good idea, But on a world scale? I'm not so sure. I think Genetics is something I would like to come back to later in life. Maybe when I have experienced enough to make a really educated decision about the ethical implications. I do believe it is such an amazing science that has so much great potential.
I want to help people who want to help themselves. I want to give them that little push (financial or encouragement) in order to do something really meaningful for themselves. I want to encourage sustainable projects. There are a few things I want to work towards, but for now I've lent a little money to a group of people in Afghanistan. It's not much money, but maybe it's enough to help them start out their venture. Hopefully it lets them know that someone, somewhere far away, believes in them and wants them to succeed.
And here I am... just doing what I can - more to follow. Lots more.
If you're interested I lent to this group: http://www.kiva.org/lend/297582