Sometimes, I look up at the sky and admire the beauty of the universe. Given the complexity of its nature, how does one even go about visualizing its sheer vastness? We sometimes find ourselves lonely when in reality, we are never alone. We get lost in our own troubles and forget everything around us when times are tough. Some people do not know what to do with the pain they feel. They resort to hurting themselves and other people. Some grow incredibly angry at their feelings of purposelessness and commit awful, unjust acts of violence toward others.
There are people being tortured, starved, abused, and raped. There are children of addicts who feel like burdens to the world, neglected and full of shame, yearning to be nurtured with love. There are parents feeling overwhelmed with guilt for their inability to provide sustaining care for their families. There are people being crippled by their feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and loneliness, perceiving the world as a so desolate a place that they finally decide to throw the gift of life away.
Whatever has happened to our human dignity? Have we really become such a sad and lost society that we have lost touch with our morality? I truly believe that every human being is born with an innate goodness encompassing the ability to hold compassion for others and love for oneself. Unfortunate circumstances such as natural disasters, trauma, abuse, and violence sometimes arise and lead us to suffer, blocking this goodness from shining through to our conscience. People grow conditioned to their fears and begin to live in constant states of anxiety in response to these negative experiences. Some people find solace from their uncomfortable states of minds by turning to drugs and unhealthy behaviors.
Many people argue that addictions are not diseases because the one afflicted consciously brought it upon oneself. What people fail to understand is that physical changes occur and rewire the neurocircuitry of one’s brain. Once a habit has been reinforced over and over again, it evolves into a very real, physical manifestation: the disease of addiction.
I find the complexity of the human mind absolutely fascinating. My personal struggle with an affliction blossomed into a burning curiosity and drive to unlock the mystery of the brain, what I believe to be the epitome of our human potential. We know so little about its workings. We have many proposed many theories about the way people think, age, and learn, but still have no clear understanding of the biological mechanisms. If we can learn to control and tune the physical biochemistry of our brains for the better, we can resolve a lot of problems that cost us globally, socioculturally, economically, and individually at the emotional level.
I often ponder about things beyond this world— metaphysical concepts revolving around the multitude of world religions, the theories about death, and a possibility of something greater. I have come to believe these ideas about world we live in: Everything and all living beings are interdependent and connected, therefore nobody is ever alone in his suffering. We can promote happiness in the world by developing compassion towards others, learning to value our differences and cooperating to embrace them. The human mind is powerfully incredible. Because of its limitless potential, with the right tools and a good understanding of its ways, we can achieve anything— even world happiness.
I decided to pursue the study of neuroscience as my undergraduate major. After my first semester of college, I transferred from a small school near Atlanta to Boston University in hopes of reaping insight from their well-developed neuroscience program. To name a few, I’ve been learning a lot about cognitive processes, habit formation, learning, memory, and motivational systems. I plan on applying to medical school and conducting research on the treatment of addictions.
My hope is that we will one day find a way to alleviate the pain that people, families, and societies face due to addictions. I would like to participate globally in humanitarian medicine and work with urban poverty, particularly in places such as Skid Row, where addictions and mental illnesses are the overarching issues.
I have faith in humanity. I envision that there will be a time where we all will live as one, full of hopes and dreams, of love and kindness. I believe the answers lie in our brains. As Bruce Lipton said in The Biology of Belief, “In this world anything is possible when you put your mind to it. I know that your mind can work miracles.”
Whatever has happened to human dignity? Have we really become such a sad and lost nation that we’ve lost touch with our innate morality? The images were so graphic. What would compel anybody to commit such an awful, unjust act? So terrible… The explosions were felt far and wide, even on campus here at BU. After training all those weeks, only to be greeted with a violent explosion at the finish line… The rest of their lives, forever changed in a matter of seconds.
We need better mental health care. We need to instill good virtue and teach the value of a human being to our children. We need to figure out what is going on with our brains. We need to help people remember that they are human and realize that they are not alone.
My Response to the Albany High School Nazi Assignment
When participating in the Forensics League during HS, I learned that debate is not about finding truth. The art of debate is persuasion, winning your audience regardless of whether or not you truly believe in what you are arguing for.
School is for teaching kids to see things from all kinds of perspectives. It is about helping kids harness theory of mind- ability to attribute mental states to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, and intentions that are different from one’s own. We must learn to not only acknowledge the presence of, but to value our differences as individuals, people, cultures, and societies. Scholarly exposure to multiple perspectives on heated topics will enable us to harness compassion for other beings… ALL beings, ‘good’ and ‘bad.’
So, while the Holocaust may have been a horrible, inhumane occurrence of the past, learning to see how and why the ideas fueling Nazism came about is absolutely vital to moving forward. Forgiveness comes from compassion and understanding.
In addition, we cannot jump to conclusions and judge this teacher, as we have no idea what his/her intentions were in creating this assignment. Nonetheless, the assignment could have been framed in a more nuanced manner. The teacher should’ve took the time to explain him/herself.
Want to let go.
Let go of hope.
Nothing really feels
Snap out of it?
Why can’t I?
Wake up and get a
damn grip on
I want these excuses begone.
I don’t even
I don’t know what