Now for some filler "text" so this looks like an actual blog post...it asctually my motivation statement for joining the Peace Corps back in 2006. Ah, nostalgia...
Our minds are undoubtedly the strength that sets us apart from animals. But, I have found that when it comes to making big decisions, I know what to do not from reasoning it out, but from a feeling. Some feelings are tainted. But we are given the ability to know right from wrong. For me, the peace corps is more than the logical progression of my life, it feels right. Of course, we always try to justify to ourselves (and others) why what we know to be the right course of action really is the right course of action.
I am twenty-five years old. I’ve seen many countries. I’ve worked at several jobs. I am financially secure, and I have family and friends that support me. What makes me want to spend the next few years helping others? Do I have a right to help others? Am I not arrogant to think that I could help the lives of others? Would they welcome my help?
I could think of many reasons why anyone should spend years helping others. For me, it is simply the only road that seems worthwhile. Although I could continue my career as a programmer, or I could continue studying, perhaps towards a PhD, but I find that both of these activities are in a way, lifeless. Continuing a career would simply be the pursuit of money and possessions. Studying towards a PhD would perhaps make me smarter, but not wiser. Serving with the Peace Corps is something much larger than any other thing I could see myself doing in the near future. I am also an avid photographer, but I do not believe the Peace Crops would stand in the way of that. On the contrary, it would help me deepen my photographic vision.
Whether I have a right to help others or not, is not for me to answer. But I think that if I do it solely to help others, then it is a good thing. And I know that I am not arrogant. Anyways, I am sure that I would learn as much from the people of a culture unfamiliar to me as they would learn from me.
As to how these reasons relate to my past experiences and life goals, it is a continuation of my past experiences – getting to know new cultures, offering help when needed. And I try not to have life goals. Striving to achieve something in my life seems to be a petty reason to live. It is better to concentrate on what we have, and to be thankful for that, than to hope for the future. Buddha said, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." What better way to live the present moment, than by helping others?