I am Thomas B., the son of Kevin and Jane, and grandson of Robert and Mary as well as Douglass and Jane. This name is not simply a name though, it is an identity, a history, an existence. I am a seventeen-year-old student, a lover of music, an athlete, an Episcopalian. However, if one were to simply list the many terms that help to define me the list would go on for far too many pages. My most important defining characteristic, however, is as a thinker because it is the ideas and values that I hold that shape my interpretation of life. I believe in God and science. I do not believe in destiny. These two beliefs help to bring humanity into perspective for me. In my eyes and mind people in the spiritual and philosophical sense are all equal at creation. However, it is how we use the free will that God gifted humanity with that defines us from the rest. These values help strengthen my love for America. I do not simply hold blind love for the nation I was born and raised in though. I love and value above all other national moral codes the ethical standards on which the United States was founded. I believe in the American dream. I, however, understand that there is an opportunity divide in this country today that needs to be bridged. Thus, I volunteer and aid those less fortunate in structured ways that are proven to be successful. Furthermore, I am extremely proud of my parents for working in fields where they make a difference in the world by fighting poverty and providing health care to those less fortunate. I know already at age seventeen that being proactive in my society will be an important part of the rest of my life. I believe that every person has the same fundamental capability to succeed in this world, but does not always have the means or the chance to succeed. That is what the opportunity divide means to me. And, while I may not dedicate my entire life to solving these problems, I know that from now on some portion of my life will be dedicated to the cause. I believe that every person on this green Earth is unique and special based on his or her ethnic background. I, furthermore, believe that only by understanding the value in each of these differences will man surpass the woes of modern civilization, such as conflict and poverty. I, therefore, am convinced that hope lies with our future generations. If we raise the new generations to love and trust one another, the world will be a safer and more harmonious place. With all this talk of right and wrong, good and bad, it must be said that I do believe most of all in the cathartic and healing power of forgiveness. That is not to say that I do not believe in justice though.
It is by these concepts and values that I strive from here on to live my life by. I do not know what lies ahead. I do not believe in destiny. But, I do know that if I pursue the joint causes of justice and peace in the world that I will have a rich, fulfilling life. Furthermore, I know that no matter what I do I must pursue my passions. Thankfully for my soul those passions include social justice.