Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Agent of Change

Have you ever had the feeling that you're on a journey to seek out your purpose in life? That there's something you can do to change the world, in whatever small way you can? That something out there needs to change?

It's a feeling that's been growing in me recently. I read articles about things like the Embrace baby warmer for premature infants, designed by a group of engineering students at Stanford, or about the gay teen in AZ changing things for LGBT youths posted over at You Could Have It So Much Better, and I kinda wonder what I've been up to these last few years. Sometimes I feel like I should've accomplished more by now.

But then I realize that I should step back and take things into perspective. What is the kind of difference and change I want to make? What have I done? What can I do? What might the future hold? Time, energy, and effort are all limited resources. So with some perspective, a few things come to mind.

First, short-term are the various things I'm doing through student organizations. Patient Education was on the verge of being axed from the free clinic. T_T However, since we changed the flow of the program 3-4 weeks ago, the managers have agreed to let the program survive another year. Phew! Hopefully we'll be able to reach out to more uninsured patients at more than one free clinic in the city, and educate them on how to take control of their own health. Also, basically reviving the LGBT group to a semblance of a group from practically nothing is no simple feat.

Second, in the near future, my friend - who I've known since kindergarten - is starting a non-profit. He has asked me to be one of his board members. The central idea of his non-profit is simple (aren't all great ideas simple?): to provide kids with someone who will move with the kid through grades 1-5 and provide guidance, encouragement, and help. I'm incredibly proud and honored to be considered to help him with this endeavor! I could go on and on about the merits of his idea, but perhaps in another post.

Third, in the far(ther) future, my friend AG-F and I will make our video game project a reality. Over a year ago, we had drafted the concept of a video game to educate kids (and adults) on genetics. Now AG-F works practically across the hall from the professor for whose class we wrote the project for. Evidently we made a big impression as he keeps talking about it now! So yes, we promised each other that one day we will finish what we started as just a class assignment.

And so, I think in each of our own small (or big) ways, we can become agents of change. For the better or for the worse, that's up to us to decide. As Gandhi said:
"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

In case you haven't heard the news (as if it's possible miss something this big), DADT was repealed!! About time. A lot of human resources were wasted in the military as a result of this silly legislation. Listen to one soldier's account here, it almost moved me to tears. I don't think when that was recorded months ago, that he thought a repeal would happen within the year.


Biki said...

All to often we can not see our own effect on our world. You have done some impressive things this year at your school, and you should be proud of yourself. Often we are so wrapped up within our own heads and busy cutting ourselves short that there isn't any for us to realistically judge what kind of person we actually are.

So, I will tell you what sorta guy you are. You, are a good, very good person. And after wending your way through all of the medical school hurtles you will be a fabulous doctor.

The teen in Arizona, didn't need any advanced education to do what he did to effect some change on our world. You do need advanced education to effect change. And without a doubt I feel you will make a large impact in medicine where ever it is you settle down.

I know you to well, you will be working to improve health care where ever you decide to practice medicine. You wont become one of those "fat cat" docs that only think about the next tee time, or their bigger house, more expensive car, trophy spouse.

Yes, you will have a nice home and car, and who knows maybe even play some golf. But you wont be a doctor just for the money or prestige it will bring. To you being a doctor is a way to give back, to leave things better than you found them, and because you honestly and truly care about people.

Have a wonderful christmas

Seth said...

Wishing you a very happy holiday season!!


Anonymous said...

Aek it's me aj, I keep logging on msn to talk to u but ur never on but hope everything is going well

Aek said...

AJ TR Zack: Hi AJ! Send me an email. I probably won't be on MSN that much until school starts up again (next week, ugh).

P90X Workout Program said...

To you being a doctor is a way to give back, to leave things better than you found them, and because you honestly and truly care about people.