I was seven when I first decided that I wanted to be the President of the United States. I cried endlessly when I lost the elections for student council in 8th grade to Thomas Lee and Eric Park. I was proudly captain of the women’s varsity golf team in high school. And as I embarked on my college journey, I chose two majors that – I felt – gave me the greatest opportunity to affect the largest population in the most direct, impactful way: policy and politics.

My entire life I’ve sought control: control over others, over situations, and over my own life and endeavors.

But before you think I’m a complete pathological freakkkkk, let me just say: everyone seeks power. The entire world revolves around it. That’s why we have hatred, war, discrimination and every other ill behavior in this world. That’s why siblings (although we love them endlessly) frustrate us so much – because we can’t control them. That’s why we hate being yelled at – because someone else is attempting authority over us. That’s why college is such a norm: to get a good education, which (supposedly) leads to a great job, which creates personal revenue, allowing us utility (clearly acing Econ) and ultimately, giving us power.

And although we’ll never be able to control the many diverse and complicated situations that cloud our tangled world, we can control one thing: the way we react. We can control the ways in which these situations affect us. And isn’t that enough? Isn’t it enough to know that no matter what, you control how you feel? Sure you’ll have external influences on your feelings, emotions and opinions, but ultimately, you’re the one deciding if you’re smiling or frowning, breeding love or hostility, acceptance or exclusivity.

How empowering?

With the heartbreaking cluster of recent attacks across the globe, it’s easy to feel both helpless and powerless. And although you may not physically or monetarily be able to give to the people of Somalia, Lebanon, Iraq, or France – among many other suffering nations and peoples – you have power over your response to these acts, and whether that response is one of ignorance or of unwavering support and acceptance – despite differences. There will always be people in opposition to your freedom, happiness and dreams, but you can’t let them stop you. You’ve got too much to give, much love to share, and an illuminated soul that the world desperately needs. You’re a small, yet vital piece of humanity. So, be a piece that takes a stand. Be a piece that fights for peace. Be a piece of peace.

Keep doing you, conscious of how imperative you are to the (sometimes hidden) beauty of this world.

-Megan


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only that that ever has.
— Margaret Mead