Like most Harvard business school graduate, my life was focused on making my first million by 30, and having everything that came with it. Everything i did was entered around that... flying up the corporate ladder... making the right contact. Life had always been too busy for me to think anything outside my job and myself. Once in a while, news of AIDS in Africa or hunger in Asia caught my eyes, but the remote control was quick in bringing me back to my diet of 'sex and the city', and 'who wants to be a millionaire?'
life was speeding away without glitches, Until i met Stella at a party one evening. I must admit, she was neither an eye catching beauty nor a sexy blonde. Probably, We wouldn't even have had met, were it not for my clumsy hands dropping a wine glass. She was standing close by and spontaneously joined in to help me clean up.
In six months, we came a long way as friends. She was very different from other women i had known so far. To me she was a mystery, always unpredictable, and very unconventional. Usual girl talk of who did what or i want to be this and i want to be that wasn't her soup. She storied about her life in Kenya, where she spent three teenage years. She would talk about the friendly people, their simple living and their humble aspirations in life. It was then that i first realized there exists a world outside my knowledge. That was also the first time, i noticed that not everything is as nice as here... suffering, disaster, war... such words exist beyond the realm of dictionary.
It was her who taught me to think. To question myself, to ponder over life. 'Is life all about making money, owning the best house, and driving the best car? Is it about having the most beautiful wife, and having famous ppl as friends? Is reaching newer heights all that matter?' she once asked. 'Or is life about being content? Having that feeling of goodness after feeding a hungry stomach or helping a needy hand? Knowing you have helped improve someone's life?'.
Since then my life has changed dramatically, and i have come a long way. Not towards that coveted dream of making the million, and owning the mansion... but a towards a new dream. The true American dream of peace, prosperity and happiness for all.
'Why didn't i think of this earlier? Why didn't the cries ever touch my heart?' I questioned myself. 'Well its because someone didn't want you to. Someone wanted to stop thinking, stop asking questions. Someone wanted you to be too engrossed in life to ever think about it, to ever have time to appreciate it', answered my mind.
Will you too continue to live in defiance, like i once did? Or start thinking and be the true self you are born to be? The choice is yours!
[cross posted at bloggers against torture as part of blogathon2006]