Vision- updated 9.19

I think that it is important every so often to take a moment and reflect on how things have changed. I wrote that vision over two years ago. I won’t say that I still don’t agree with it, I do. But I care about a lot of other things too. This is my new vision.

The world is a very big place, something that I had not realized until about one week prior to me writing this, while I desperately tried to book trips to every country in Europe in the span of four months. It’s not possible. And I do have the rest of my life ahead of me. But there is so much to see, so much to experience, so much to do.

I no longer think that it is going to be easy to change the world. Do I think it is possible? Yes. But my ideas of how to do that are still in their early stages. I have a newfound interest in global health, something I have been interested in for a long time. Some of the issues that charge me up the most are the standards of health care and facilities and sanitation and access to treatment in many different parts of the world. To me that is one of the most glaring episodes of inequality that I see.

There’s a lot of things that need fixing in our world. Problems that I want to tackle, want someone to tackle. There’s plenty of questions I have for the people who do hold the power, the money, the influence. And questions I have for those who most certainly do not. Because our world depends on everyone caring about everyone else, which is a very unusual thing. I’d like to see it happen. Humanity and a desire to understand, to empathize, and to make things happen, whether it is making positive progress in fixing this climate crisis, or cleaning up that garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean, or vaccinating people against debilitating diseases or sending a clear message that persecution and violence will not be tolerated.

I read something last year about war, and how it is something that we invented, and therefore can be uninvented. I think about that a lot. We’ve invented and subsequently uninvented a lot of things. Human sacrifice, bloodletting, some aspects of colonialism, witch hunts, torture (the Medieval kind), gladiator fights, Agent Orange slavery. And we’re working on uninventing a lot more: homophobia, islamophobia, animal abuse, burning fossil fuels, chemical weapons. The message is that norms are only norms because humanity lets them take hold. But they can be changed. It’s about time we changed a lot of norms.

I’d like to see that happen. That’s my vision. To change the toxic norms that plague our society and preserve the good ones, like empathy and charity and healthcare. It’s very easy to look at the present and the future and be afraid. I know that I am. And although many smart people tell us to never look back, I think we really do need to in order to know that we can move forward. We should see how far we’ve come from settling disputes with a literal duel to the death. It’s easy to get caught in how bad things are. But slowly the world is catching on and that makes me feel a little bit better. -J

Vision: The Earth is the New Community- Why I Care

It is widely understood that we are growing up in a time that proposes so brand new challenges. Success appears difficult to attain for young people. Opportunities seem to be elusive. There is great division within our own country. However, when I look ahead to the next decade, I see an abundance of opportunity present for young professionals, those who manage to break the mold and take initiative.

One of my bigger frustrations is that I see kids who have no awareness of what’s happening in our world, our country, and our own hometown. Teenagers need to quickly wake up. My generation will be involved in shaping the future of this world, and if we’re not involved, then the world will shape our futures in ways we might not want.

We currently live in a globalized environment, where things that occur half way around the planet can spread across the world in moments and impact the way we live right here at home. The benefit of this, which some people view as an obstacle, is that our global society is made up of many mixed and diverse cultures. Herein lies our opportunity to enhance communications and relationships. More than ever, people need to talk to each other and give consideration to others’ perspectives in a movement towards greater understanding and away from fear or hatred.

Much of what’s wrong in the world is due to a lack of awareness and consideration for other people’s viewpoints. The good news is that this is fixable, but it won’t be easy. Due to open immigration and cultural blending over many centuries, we live amongst a very diverse international society. Although relationships between countries will never be perfect, we need to understand that each cultural group has its own unique set of goals, desires, and reasons which drive their decision. While we may not always agree on those items, we must agree that it is all of our responsibilities to protect the world in which we live.

My generation will have a lot to say about the future course of action. But the problem remains that much of my peers are oblivious to the world. They are not paying attention, therefore, they will miss out on their opportunity to make any changes. Too many young people are living in a bubble, and that bubble will soon burst leaving those people without the ability to make decisions and influence outcomes.

Our success will depend on having a global perspective. Where “community” previously referenced the local area of which you lived, the earth is the new community, it’s gone global. When I look ahead to college, my goal is to expand my knowledge, grow my perspective, enhance my mental strength, improve my ability to adapt, increase my awareness, and tune into future opportunity. With this in mind, my plan is to study a combination of International Affairs, Political Science, Government Studies, and Language. This will give me the knowledge of how the U.S. conducts its foreign policy along with the skills in both language and diplomacy to conduct myself in a manner appropriate to handling terse negotiations, meeting world leaders, or settling conflicts.

My career plan includes work in Foreign Service, to be an advocate or ambassador for building foreign relations, to be liaison between the United States and people around the world for enhancing peace and harmony.

I will realize my success upon seeing nations working together in support of common goals. I will strive to facilitate the movement for exchanging ideas in a constructive manner. I will work towards reducing the fear of terrorism in creating a global environment that protects its citizens, ensures human rights, conserves the planet’s resources, and conducts discussions without hostility. My success is found in becoming the link that serves to bring together the U.S. with the rest of the world.