First is people, second is food

I am currently taking a writing break to write some more.

I am weird, I know this.

I am in the process of applying for graduate schools. I feel like I have been in this process for the past 4 years. Countless hours of my life have been spent on researching programs, spending time studying to fulfill prerequisite requirements, taking the GRE, ordering and entering transcripts, requesting letters of recommendation – and still I am running this marathon up until the very last minute. Mostly because I sit down and take long naps during my marathons.

Today has been the process of writing one of my personal statement essays. In writing this I have come down to the simple idea of how I approach my career goals, relationships, and just life in general. It goes like this:

FIRST: People

Simple, yeah?

I love food. I am passionate about cooking it, eating it, sharing my knowledge about it, and learning as much as I can! However, food has absolutely no meaning if there isn’t the people to share my food with, share my knowledge with, and to learn from.

And this is why people come first. Why would I be given all these opportunities to learn and to share unless it was to benefit others? I mean this truly and honestly.

I believe that the reason why I clash so much with my elders when it comes to my career aspirations is because of this perspective. Many of them would probably say, “FIRST: Security, SECOND: ‘insert passion'”. And I do not say this to be derogatory or to make anyone sound selfish. It is simply their experiences versus mine. They have experienced more of life and have come to the conclusion that in order to feel satisfied at the end of a days work they want to know they will have the security of a home, food, and even some comforts. And yes, of course I want those things as well, but that is not where my satisfaction lies. Instead I find satisfaction in knowing that I have helped someone, somehow. I find satisfaction in knowing that I am creating a world that is more comfortable and gratifying to other men, women, and children.

And these can be very simple acts. A workplace where you exchange hugs instead of handshakes; an evening with your coworkers cooking a meal  that would make most people jealous; the pure joy that comes from having a child eat carrot after carrot simply because you offer it.

These are the little things that make me feel satisfied at the end of the day. And notice, each of these involve people first, and food second. That is just how things work for me – and to me it is enough.


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