"Changing the world. Making it a better place, one day at a time. Also. It is interesting, or actually - fascinating! I just can't stop thinking about research ideas ...
p.s. I also had, and still have doubts. Today was a 'good day' though."
I got 5 postcards in the mail today. This one stood out, because each paragraph reminded me of a word that I've been thinking about lately. The first paragraph reminded me of "impact."
Few days ago, my mom sent me this picture. I'm saving my thoughts on that first remark for another day. It's what the second mom said that flashed through my head when I was reading this postcard. I appreciate the intention, but I don't buy the statement. Do we need to get A's to be able to make a better world?
What if the mom says, "Let's go say 'thank you' to that gentleman?" A lot of things that make this world better, things like gratitude, empathy, humility and respect, don't require a diploma. Don't get me wrong. I love seeing people coming to college with the goal of making positive changes to the world around us. I'm also extremely lucky to know and be inspired by some of these people. What I want to change is the mentality that we can only do so much if we don't do well in school.
I remember one day last summer I missed a flight and got stuck at an airport in D.C.. I was hangry and antsy after waiting in line for 2 hours to get through customs. I started looking for my airline's counter as soon as I had my luggage. When I found the airline I started walking faster. The lady at the counter saw me when I was still 30 feet away. She smiled at me.
That smile melted my heart, so much that I'm still thinking and talking about it today. It instantly cleared the clouds and made my world suck way less. I remind myself of that smile when I feel powerless every now and then. In some ways what I learned from that lady was what got me started YMI. I learned that I already had what it takes make people's worlds better, because even one simple action can shift a person's course of life.
Impact is an interesting thing. There's the kind of impact, say legalizing same-sex marriage, that affects a lot of people. There's also the kind of impact that affects very few people at a time but reaches just as far. We probably need to nail x number of credential-related obstacles to get a seat the supreme court. To be as impactful as the judges? we might not need anything more than what we already have.