Kids Corner


17-yr-old Gurtej: "What Is Success?"




My parents have always pushed me to become successful.

I guess one may interpret that achieving success has been a goal drilled into me since birth. I would like to disagree.

My personal goal for the future is not to achieve success, but define it through the actions and judgments I establish. Sure, in this fast paced society, 'success' to most can be defined as wealth and power. I find the denotation to be more accurate if it defines success as an accomplishment of a purpose.

My goal is to act on a purpose in this world. I really want to be somebody. Ultimately, it is through that purpose where I shall make a difference to become 'successful'. Since my interests in health and the well being of humanity sparked, I knew I wanted to help people. My dreams to become a plastic surgeon do not revolve around the theme of beautifying, but rather to raise opportunity.

Looking back and trying to pinpoint the moment I started to see things differently, causes too many events to come to mind. I know that it did not happen in the course of one day. Perhaps it started with the rush of excitement surrounding Earth Day in middle school, or my AP Biology teacher who revealed the truth about endangered species, habitat loss, acid rain, ozone layer depletion, and what mankind is doing to our environment.

From the time I began watching environmentalists plead nations to cut down their contribution to global warming, to the time I was convinced by the literature on animal welfare and the environmental movement and decided to give vegetarianism a try, my life has been a process of continual learning and discovery.

Honestly, limiting my meat consumption proved no easy task, yet I knew that proper policy-making had to start with personal sacrifices. After six months of battling my cravings, my lacto-ovo vegetarian self felt part of the environmental change.

I would like to travel the world, and not only witness but also treat diseases unimaginable to someone like me, blessed with a life in a healthy country. Biology has made me realize that every aspect of life is a gift. My faith and ethics (well set in at an early age by my parents) have made me realize that no one should be denied a chance due to minor setbacks.

Understanding Sikhi has taught me that despite any observed "setbacks", I can do whatever I wish. Many will try to suppress me with the excuse of "Oh, she is a woman". I have overcome this ridiculous excuse made by many detractors, through the strength I get from Sikhi. My comeback to such male supremacists is from the Guru Granth Sahib itself: "It is from a woman that  kings are born; how can they less than men ..."

All humans have no choice but to respect women and treat them with the utmost gratitude for their own lives.

I am aware - and am grateful - that I have been exposed and introduced to multiple opportunities others cannot even imagine, including those in my own city. My motivation to be a part of the cause in the change of humanity and life on earth comes from my passion for equality and happiness amongst all. Everyone deserves comfortability; let it be in their own skin, society, or faith. They could go through  life with that swagger of radiance and amazing beauty arising from within themselves.

Now that is success.


July 1, 2010



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