A friend of mine passed this quote on to me this summer and it spoke to me immediately. While I think it is presumptuous to completely forego asking yourself what the world needs (because after all, what this world may need above all else is people asking what they can do for others), shouldn’t we all be looking for that thing that makes us come alive? And once we experience that gloriously gut-twisting my-god-this-makes-me-shine moment, shouldn’t we follow it no matter where it takes us?
This most certainly may be the poet and the dreamer in me speaking. I realize that realities like money and employment and the economy and politics sometimes challenge our ability to do the thing that makes us most alive. I realize that sometimes in order to enable the ones we love to follow their shining thing means that sometimes we have to sacrifice a piece of our own.
But truthfully, the world does and probably always will need more people that have come alive. Tomorrow is my last first day of classes at Colby. Friends who were doing independent studies in Brazil, internships in Boston, or Jan Plan trips to India have returned and filled the campus, and our dorm room, with their stories and loud voices and I find again that I am wrapped up in it all. Tangled really, in so much life.
These incredible people have found their shining thing. For one friend it is the outdoors, for another issues of violence and religion in Egypt. For one friend it is probiotics and frogs and a whole lot of other scientific things that I know nothing about but when I hear her talk about it all, I am enthralled because I can see that this thing, it makes her come alive.
So here’s to finding our shining thing. Here’s to following it. Here’s to surrounding ourselves with the kinds of people that live fiercely and honestly.