This I Believe

Jonathan - Brookline, Massachusetts
Entered on September 11, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: purpose

This I believe – That the courage to live a full and significant life is a struggle that we all must face, both as individuals and as members of a community.

As a boy, I learned early and often how things worked (and how they could often be repaired). This led to my becoming an electronics design engineer, and my long list of product designs, from pioneering early digital audio and video hardware, to enhancing the most sensitive instruments on earth at the Laser Interferometer Gravity Wave Observatory (LIGO). When a multitude of factors led to cutbacks in this collosal project, I felt that my fufillment as a person was left in limbo by my layoff, and I didn’t know what I could do to fill this void. The answer came to me from an unexpected direction: my public library. My wife runs the ongoing booksale for the friends of our library, and helping her with this extensive commitment of volunteer work has proven to be more rewarding than I ever imagined. The intimate involvement with our community that this work entails has made me feel more rewarded than any of my substantial contributions to electronics development. Helping both young and old to find and enjoy great books, and discussing them is a joy that I never really appreciated until now, and it is immediately known to me when I do this that I am making a difference that I alone can make.

This I believe – That we all must find this difference, in whatever form it takes on – to find our true fulfillment.