I launched my writing career in second grade when I wrote an epic adventure tale featuring a boy and his pet dinosaur. My book was “published” by my teacher, who had it laminated and bound with one of those red plastic spines.That same year, I began writing in my first diary. I recorded important things such as what I ate for breakfast and what toys I played with.
I have been scribbling ever since.
Writing is a way for me to attempt to make some meaning out of life. Here’s what I’ve figured so far:
A) Not much
B) I’m pretty sure that most of the things that society says will make me happy will in fact make me a miserable human being
C) I’ve also decided that the way the world measures success is extremely flawed.
I’m seeking to achieve a balanced and contented life. I’m a pretty good actress: sometimes I look cool and calm on the outside, when in fact my insides are twisted in knots of anxiety. Anxiety and stress quickly drain me of energy and hinder my ability to have a positive effect on the world around me. I figure I’ll be more useful if I can take better care of myself.
I would like to help people. I’ve been volunteering at various organizations for over a decade, mostly tutoring and mentoring children. If I had a magic wand, I would eradicate global poverty and annihilate discrimination and injustice. But I don’t have a wand, and I don’t think even Harry Potter’s wand could do those things.
After spending a year teaching reading to urban high school students reading below grade level, a year at a nonprofit organization that helps low-income individuals build their assets and become financially stable, and a year teaching English in Hungary, I’ve learned that tackling problems on even a very small scale is incredibly difficult.
I’ve narrowed my focus. If I cannot singlehandedly solve global issues, then I can at least try to limit the harm I do to myself and to those around me. It’s what the Buddhists call ahimsa, or nonviolence. As part of this effort, I have been a vegetarian for almost four years. I try to confront my own prejudices, to be patient, openminded and empathetic. I struggle a lot.
This blog is about my quest for . . . peace and joy and a better world. Thanks for reading, and please feel free to comment and share your thoughts.