After the publication of my article (link), my life has been a bit of a whirlwind. Every day I’ve been receiving several emails and letters of support and affirmation and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the amount of positive feedback I’ve been getting. However, with my minute of fame, I’ve also been doing some soul searching.
What drives my life?
As a sophomore in college, now is a perfectly ripe time for me to start deciding what I want my life to mean. When I come to the end of my stint, what will I want to have accomplished, and how do I want to achieve that goal?
I think I speak for many people when I say that I want to make the world a better place. From that point, however, there’s some important realizations that I need to have. What you think would make the world a better place may not actually improve anything for anyone else. This is a huge part of our culture – the belief that other cultures becoming more like ours is synonymous with development.
Yesterday I was listening to a press conference after the elections with Obama on NPR. He made the statement that, “We have the privilege of being in charge of the most important organization on Earth…” He was referring to the US government. This struck me as a belief that many American citizens share, whether conscious or not.
I hope I’m not the only one who disagrees with that.
As I pursue a career in international development and human rights advocacy, is my end goal to improve the lives of those I’m working with, or is it just a channel through which I can indoctrinate people into my culture?