Friday, September 3, 2010

Staying true to myself...

I have long said that I would not become a cynic. In fact I recall my freshman year at Oberlin College I had this long conversation with a senior at Oberlin who said I could not graduate from Oberlin without becoming a cynic about the world and the future. I remember telling him that I was a hopeful optimist who believed that there was the potential for the world to change for the better if more of us followed the lead of greats like Margaret Mead when she said "A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." He countered that he firmly believed that my naivete would be shattered and I would become a cynic by the time I graduated. I promised him that I would find ways to remain hopeful and optimistic about the world and the potential for change for the better. I succeeded at maintaining that optimism and hope that I had as a starry eyed first year college student. I have seen my share of heartbreaking things in my life. I have had my heart broken several times personally and professionally. Yet I stand firmly by my belief that if those of us who are educated and idealistic can strive to "be the change we want to see in the world"(Ghandi) we can actually create a better world. One act at a time, we can create the momentum to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. I hope that the young man who was so convinced it was impossible to become well educated without becoming a cynic has found some ways to create a world he believes is more worthy of his hope and optimism. I have the same wish for so many of my idealistic and jaded friends I have met along the path of my journey. We all can create a better world if we work together and believe that there is potential in humanity for real change.

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