Responsible Cogency

michael - portland, Oregon
Entered on May 4, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30


I love bicycles, a fact I unabashedly proclaim quite often. At the ripe age of sixteen, I began to work in my first bicycle shop and absorbing the many facets of these two-wheeled gems. When I started, I was not too dissimilar from an average teenager; I was fascinated with the machines I was working on, and I soon developed a respect for it’s variety of subtle benefits. I was content.

I have always viewed my occupation as a source of enjoyment in addition to merely providing. As my appreciation for the machine grew, I began to see my occupation more importantly; as a method with which to promote alternative transportation and to use it as a sort of gateway leading away from a materialistic, work-consume-sleep lifestyle.

With the right impetus, we all have high capabilities. My stimulus came in the form of an intellectual social atmosphere which challenged my perception of skill. I had yet to acknowledge higher education as more than a choice of career or of socio-economic class, and began to view any state of directed enlightenment as an axiom of opportunity. This is my belief; everybody has an obligation to use their skills for the advancement of life.

Our lives are as subjective as the thesis is vague, but we must analyze our lives. For instance, to what or whom are we contributing? Outside the bounds of pursuing happiness, security, and material wealth, Americans have an almost unparalleled ability to promote positive change. Progress comes at the hands of individual people making small choices.

I am now in college, improving and expanding my set of skills with which I plan on affecting more people and city systems that I would have otherwise been unable. Focusing on city systems of layout and coding, transportation, and utilities I intend to centralize, localize, and re-invigorate social welfare. By no definition do I dub myself a role-model, but this is my example. With a higher education I aim to help people, the planet, and the economy make the small choices that are mutually beneficial.

At the most basic level, I hope to inspire others to develop their rationale and to perpetuate this idea. Our actions affect countless others, and without blatant reciprocity, we must be conscious of ‘the good’ we are pursuing.