I have come a long way since the beginning of my high school career. I began as a shy adolescent, who basically focused on his studies. Over the course of my high school years, I discovered some faith and courage in myself to finally break out of my shell. Playing sports really allowed me to open my mind and interact with other people. Track and football became an important part of my life where I could express myself. This allowed me to discover what I wanted out of life. I found my goals and my dreams and began to set out and reach them. I want to make a positive impact on the world. I want to help those that are in need, and I will do so by attaining higher knowledge in education.
I was born in Bangladesh, but I came to the states when I was 3 months old. I quickly became an Americanized individual and grew American values. Family was not important to me, and the only thing that mattered was being the fastest kid in the school. I lived my life as a lone wolf. I became very egocentric and arrogant, putting my needs before anyone else’s. However, I always felt that deep down inside me, these qualities that I have grown to were not of my own. I felt that they were only influenced by my environment and surroundings.
In 2008, my family and I went on a trip to Bangladesh for my brother’s wedding. After the enduring three days of travel and flight, I was so eager to land in my home country and could not wait. I remember my heart pounding against my chest as the plane descended onto the runway. I did not know why, but for some reason at that time my only thoughts were, “Man! It has been so long since I was last here, and I can not wait to see my people, my friends, and my family.” Maybe within myself, I did yearn for a “family”.
My blood began to boil with excitement, my fingers trembled, and I leaped out of the door. The first thing that I noticed departing the airplane was the sudden heat wave that slapped me in the face. I could recall this similar feeling from my last visit, and it put a grin on my face. The air was heavy and the peculiar stench penetrated through me. I took a great deep breath, and moved on…
The traditional wedding was stunning. It was something I had never experienced before, and I truly fell in love with the rich culture there. The closeness of family was something new to me as well. I felt like I was loved by others; I felt like I had a place in their hearts, and their care had a trickle effect on me. For once in my life, I felt that I did care for them too. However, there was something greater that caught my attention during the trip, something that would change my perception of life forever.
As I walked down the dusty streets at dawn, I heard what at first sounded like a broken radio. It was of annoyance to me, repeating the same line over and over, but as I got closer, I realized it was not a radio. In front of me laid a child of the streets, moaning with his every bit of strength, “bachao… bachao…” I was not sure what he was saying at first, but in my heart I felt that he was saying he needed my help. He stared straight through me with runny eyes, mustered up the last of the strength he had left, and spoke to my soul. With a dying voice he said, “Bach…ao…” and slowly shut his eyes.
I was not sure if the boy had actually died in front of me. Terror stuck me and my heart began to panic, throbbing up and down. I reached into my pockets and only then did I start to feel something in the corner of my eyes, something I had no experience of even in the extreme depths of pain in football. A watery substance mixed with salt streamed down my face. I asked myself, “What is this?” At that moment I realized how insignificant I was, and how there was nothing I could do to help this child. Time felt like it had stopped. I could hear every heartbeat; I could hear every sound. I looked to my left and it was the same scenery. I looked to my right and it was no different. Then I looked up at the sky as the sun began to beat down on me wiping away my tears. It was then that I realized that there was something I needed to do, something that would make the difference, something that could change the lives of these people. Ever since that defining moment in my life, my determination to make a good future for myself and others has grown with me every day. I am done with dreaming. I am set to live my dreams and make my dreams happen.