This I Believe

Aditya - PORTLAND, Oregon
Entered on October 9, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem
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A few weeks ago I got sick and I was bedridden for the whole day. This was an experience I never forgot. It made me realize how much I hated sitting idle for a long period of time. It also made me realize how much I wanted to do and how little time I had to accomplish everything. There are two things I would like to accomplish in my life. One is to become an electrical engineer. Having almost completed my degree I feel I am close. Moreover I just completed an engineering internship, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved going to work everyday. I loved how even before I got to work I would be thinking of how to solve a problem at work. So I have decided to make a career out of it.

The other goal I hope to reach is to one day do an extensive tour of the Middle East

(18 countries in the Arab World, Israel and Iran). During these travels I hope to visit some tourist spots and interview religious and political leaders. For this I will have to go through a lot of preparation in the Arabic language, history and culture. This is a tremendous challenge which couldn’t be more different than my primary career. What motivates me is my desire to find an answer to the Middle East conflict. My father once told me that the final answer always comes from within us. He’s almost certainly right. But the first step is to gain a better understanding, which is why I wish to travel to these countries. I have always asked myself the question, “Aren’t the Arabs like us? Aren’t they people who just want to pay their mortgage, send their kids to good schools and save enough for a good retirement? What drives terrorists to do what they do? Why are they considered martyrs by some? ” These are some of the questions I wish to answer.

My ambitious goals beg the question. Am I setting myself up for failure? I don’t think so. I think doing my best to achieve these aims will be success enough. What I just said is a variant of the proverb, “Life is a journey, not a destination”. We must learn to enjoy what we do everyday and not make ourselves miserable, hoping that once we achieve our goal we will be happy. That’s setting oneself up for more disappointments. What truly gives satisfaction to achieving the goal is the struggle and the effort required to achieve it.

The human mind is capable of greater things. We must never tire regardless of the challenges that face us and understand that it’s these difficulties that sharpen and strengthen our abilities.