In no particular order…
- Foreign Policy
Anybody that knows me knows I enjoy reading the American Constitution, researching current events in international news and studying geography. If I was to consider myself a single-issue voter (I’m not), I would squarely place myself in the foreign policy camp. The ideals of the republic in which I was born intrigue me. The words of Thomas Jefferson reverberate through my life almost incessantly: “…peace and friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” I made a brief run to become a pilot in the Marine Corps and that journey led me to where I am now. I am but a mere blimp on the American foreign policy apparatus but I’m okay with that — I had to cut my teeth somewhere. Peace Corps: “hardest job you’ll ever love.”
- If not me, than who?
Why not? I’ve worked hard in my short years and have gleaned experience from a wide range of occupations. I care not to cut myself short. I believe I offer unique perspectives and insight and offer myself willingly to the service of others. If the position will be filled, why wouldn’t I fill it?
- “…but what you can do for your country.”
J.F.K.’s legacy lives on through the Peace Corps, an agency he fought to institute based on a classically liberal ideal that at its core is indistinguishably American. I’ve had the inclination to serve my country in some capacity for some time and that continued effort manifests itself in my work here in Malawi.
Yes, the book by Thoreau. There is something very appealingly romantic about living simply, abandoning the noise of life. Shortly after graduation from university, I had this urge to ‘get back to the basics’ and to find myself in the process; if only I could drive life into a corner and reduce it to its lowest terms then perhaps I could find enlightenment.
- It’s better than ________, considering…
I had ambitions and aspirations during university that changed dramatically post-graduation. They were at odds with the way that I was maturing. I found myself in peculiar positions, questioning decisions and plans that I had long established. Looking back, the uncertainty was uncomfortable but necessary — I wouldn’t change a thing.
- Personal Growth
“I know that I know nothing” is a powerful quote that keeps me thirsting for more out of life. The only thing that is permanent is change. There is no greater amount of pleasure and satisfaction I get than being able to see personal growth from benchmarks I set in life. Hopefully it has been all for the better and I have been able to share this joy with as many people as I could along the way.
I’m young and educated, blissfully naïve, single, childless and completely in awe of what life has to offer. The world is a big, marvelous, beautiful place and seeing, reflecting and ultimately interpreting it is such an awesome experience that I sometimes pinch myself to ensure it’s real.
- “The Common, Greater Good”
I struggle with defining this but sense that perhaps I think too hard about it. I want to believe that my actions emanate a personal desire to advance a naïve ideal that we are one and that love conquers all. Or some hippie, peace-and-love, tie-dyed rubbish like that.
- Pure Curiosity
With so much to see, personal principles and assumptions to question, people to meet and experiences not yet lived, the mind wanders and gives an anxious darkness to biases and knowledge that were once so sure. A willingness to question life’s most basic assumptions turns into a quest to uncover and recover, a repetition that is fraught with tumultuous emotional and intellectual capitulation.
And really, I’m still trying to figure out why I joined the Peace Corps. Is it really all totally certain? I’m convinced that everyone is pretty much winging it, why should I be the exception to the rule?