Because I don't want to die and not know.

When people say that the world is in your hands, they’re not being entirely truthful. It’s something people say to you when you’re at a new” chapter” in your life and you’ve got so many potential opportunities available. But I’ve learned that the “world” they’re referring to isn’t THE world, but more specifically, YOUR world--- your job, your family, your country, your endeavors. It’s all about you and your world.

I grew up sheltered. Whatever I wanted, I got. I lived in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. As a child, I naively thought that everyone lived like me, too. I had no concept of poverty or oppression; if encountered, they didn’t truly register in my mind. I underestimated the value of my wealth and freedom.

I have family in Asia. The first time my dad took me to Vietnam, I was a baby. The second (and third and fourth) my dad took me to Vietnam, I was a child. But the fifth time my dad took me to Vietnam, I understood. Each country, person, place--- they all had their own history. Existing out of my own realm of awareness were people I had never met, places I had never visited and problems I have never perceived. These trips weren’t for vacational purposes--- as I had thought when I was younger, playing with my cousins in the streets. It was so that I could learn more about a world outside my own and appreciate the life I’ve lived.

I used to never care for the news. Television was for entertainment, not CNN or MSNBC. The newspaper was only consumed for its comics. I was ignorant, only concerning myself with matters that pertained to my life; I guess as I child I was a bit of a solipsist.

I read the news everyday now. I plan to travel the world. I volunteer for different programs. I talk to as many strangers as I can.

Because life is too short to not know the world, and when I die, I want to know that I’ve learned all that I can about life.

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