“What do you enjoy in life”? : this is one of the most frequently-asked question, to students of 10th, 11th and 12th grades, who are still ambivalent about their future plans. While others responded “dancing”, “science” or “acting”, I answered “People”.
Why? At first I couldn’t tell.
Only later, did I appreciate my answer.
Indeed, I began to realize that every time I encountered new people, foreign faces or unknown smiles, I had a need, an urge to know more about them, about their story, to “look them in the eye”, as my mother constantly repeated. Whether it was in Africa, in India, on my street or in a shop, this feeling rose back, infiltrating itself in my veins.
Progressively, this allowed me to comprehend that life was about people, or beings in general. Life was about fathoming the need to see beyond my own self. Men and women who are black, white, Hispanic, homosexual, Jewish, Asian, and Muslim should thus not be discriminated against: they are equal in my mind, and must be equal in my world, which explains why, as I gradually could not bear to notice such inequalities, I became bitter.
Bitter because as a young woman, I couldn’t do much about these inequalities.
Bitter because I was outraged about the lack of action taken by anyone I knew to restore equality among minorities. And bitter, because I suffered too, from these prejudices.
But, gradually I started to acquiesce that rather than being resentful about a world I desired to change, I had to narrow my focus to something or someone precisely, and try to transmute it into something valuable, something decent.
Well, I guess I transmuted this bitterness into something valuable by expressing all these opinions about inequality in my University applications. Thanks to this, I got into Columbia University where I will major in Human Rights and Women and Gender issues, which will further allow me to achieve more and better.