Please tell me the suffering can end. Well, not really. If it sucks, please let me know! I'd love any suggestions!
In the summer of 2008, I was perplexed as my friend and mentor Bruce asked a rather simple question. Being a rather intuitive individual, he questioned the basis of my yearnings. “How do you think your background has had an effect on you?” he asked. At the time, we were on a trip to Dublin, Ireland and an emphasis was placed on reflecting in a cross cultural setting. I was wrestling with how poverty, genocide, and slavery are allowed to persist in our world. I desired for someone to intervene on behalf of the oppressed. I realize now that Bruce’s question was of the utmost importance. In order to fully commit to my intentions of instigating change, I needed to know why I wanted to do so in the first place.
My parents, both immigrants to the United States, met on the campus of Ole Miss during the mid 1970s. Though my mother is of Chinese descent, she was born in Panama and speaks three languages fluently as a result. My father, from India, came to the United States seeking a career in engineering. I do not claim to have inherited the culture of my parents. Rather, the ideals that were passed down to me that are a result of how I was raised and the circumstances of my life. My father encouaraged me watch the news at a very young age, to be connected to this international family that I am very much a part of. From there I began to learn about the politics of the world. The decisions made by our world’s leaders have, at many times, dumbfounded me to the point that I became skeptical of their intentions and motives. I brought this skepticism with me to college, where my interest in politics led me to the discovery of a vast array of issues such as genocide, HIV/AIDS, and human trafficking. Likewise, my mother instilled in me a spirit of giving. Though we live a relatively humble lifestyle, my mother has always seeked to give. Some of my best memories from growing up involve working at the local homeless shelter or spending time at the local basketball gym with younger youth. In my college, I served through my fraternity and our Student Government Assocation. Now that I am working, my goal is to live below my means. With the money I am saving, I can donate to worthwhile causes that affect the issues I am concerned with. As Gandhi said, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed.”
I had to be taken out of my comfort zone to reflect on my upbringing. My trip to Ireland, which was a service trip, allowed me to hone my skills and develop a passion for unconditionally helping others. Much of my time was spent in a small town called Trim, where I helped assist a local church. We painted the town’s church hall, helped take care of kids, and got to know individuals within the town. My most significant experience came in Dublin when working with a group that assists parents whom are HIV positive. Our way of meeting their needs was to take their children for day trips, while simultaneously giving them rest. Through this, I saw how non-profit agencies assist in a practical manner. I will never forget chatting with a middle aged South African mother on the back of our charter bus. I was so interested to learn about her background, her culture, her former country, and the politics of her land. We were strangers in a foreign land, and through that we shared a common bond. I could easily envision my mother in a similar situation, some twenty years prior. Though those circumstances must have provided enough of a burden, her family had also been affected by a crippling disease. It was fairly obvious, then, that my needs were secondary to hers.
My reflections over the course of the summer and the following year led me to believe that I should be a voice for the impoverished. At the end of my trip in Ireland, a friend suggested I read a book called The Good News About Injustice from the organization International Justice Mission. The book spoke of suffering that resonated with me on a small but significant level. Though I was aware that slavery and trafficking existed, I had very little knowledge about the extent of their reach. I find myself at a loss for words when I read the personal stories of enslavement and torture. Likewise, I am outraged when the justice system is incapable and, in many situations, unwilling to assist in curbing the sale and movement of people for profit. In most countries affected by slavery and trafficking, there are laws in place to empower the oppressed. However, they need someone to interpret and uphold the law, as well as justice systems that view these laws with legitimacy. My ultimate goal is to be a voice for these people. Though I would like to become involved with the Human Rights movement, I understand that I cannot change the world. Rather, my goal is to go where I am needed and use the law to benefit those around me. Their lives are just as valuable and unique as mine, but I have been afforded the opportunity to assist them. Whether it be in my hometown, across the country, or some remote location in the world, I will be ready to go and serve.
(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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