For the right reason

Stevency - Austin, Texas
Entered on December 23, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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For the right reason

I believe that we in our quest for instant gratification have not been able to realize the true value of life. We have allowed ourselves to become disillusioned by our desire for wealth and fame; in the process, we have disregarded all the truly valuable things in our lives.

I came from the politically unstable country of Haiti. There, I have seen and felt what it means to be neglected, malnutritioned, and underprivileged. As a child then, I was intelligent, cunning, and playful. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I would say that I wanted to be a mechanic so I could fix my father’s motorcycle. After being taken out of those terrible living conditions and moving to the Bahamas, I was confronted with new challenges. People were attempting to teach me new morals, and in this country there was no welfare, no charitable organization with missions to help single mothers raise three children. My mother was left alone to figure out how she would feed and nourish three kids and herself. Usually she disregarded her own needs to provide for ours. Most of our clothing and toys were secondhand clothing given to us by her employer. As my siblings and I grew older, we began to forget where we had come from due to the pressure from classmates at school. Our needs became replaced by unnecessary wants that were derived from the envious relationships we formed with children from school.

By the time I got to high school, I chose business as my course of study, and when questioned about what my career choice would be in the field of business I now said accounting. Why did I want to be an accountant? Being as Naïve as I was then, I believed that accountants were the ones in the company who controlled all of the money and I was determined to become the top ‘money-maker’ of my graduating high school class. I was convinced for some odd reason that money was the key formula when it came to true happiness. Since graduating from high school nearly three years ago, I have traveled to many United States, I have attended several conferences, and met countless motivational, and influential individuals and made many different friends who have taught me differently.

One day as I was reflecting on how it is that I, a fatherless boy from Haiti is able to attend college in the United States? I believe that it was only through relentless determination that I was able to accomplish what I have done. If I had continued to believe that money makes people successful and happy, I probably would have been discouraged and unmotivated by my lack of such finances or worse, I could have fallen into a life of crime. My motivation for going to college and pursuing my desired field of accounting continues to be for the sole purpose of taking care of my family. I want to make sure that my mother and younger siblings no longer have to endure the struggles that she underwent with my siblings and I.

So I must say to anyone who has allowed their visions to be veiled by the desires to become rich that the quest for wealth at the sacrifice of your family’s love and relationship is not worth the trifling journey. And to those who seek to accomplish success in the absence of a family I say to you; fulfill your goals with the intent of making someone’s life easier. You are much more likely to succeed if your goals benefit someone else other than yourself.