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sad and defeated.

There isn’t anything in particular I that has happened to me. This is a mixture of personal frustrations as a postgraduate student, sadness about the state of humanity and the world, and the seeming impossibility of dreams for the future.

Being a student again has shown me personal strengths and weaknesses. I am confident I have depth of thought, but I am less articulate than ever. I love learning but not all things. There are many things that I realize I don’t want to do, but the challenge is in determining when the task is just difficult or I’m being lazy and when my lack of desire points to a misstep in my prior choices or a challenge to my current trajectory. Being in a postgraduate program makes me long for vocational training in a craft–if only the lifestyle of a craftsman were guaranteed to be stable and respected, because unfortunately I am prideful. Having time to explore has shown me how much there is to explore–either to extend the knowledge of humanity or to learn for self-enrichment. I would love to be able to learn and explore forever, however, without specific directives or the concern of maintaining the socioeconomic status that affords me this privilege in the first place.

Reading the daily news and popular media makes me wonder if society has always been so fragmented. The terrors some people must live through make me grateful for the stability in my life, and the safety net that I have in my family and friends. However, I wonder what social responsibility means in our world today. With the ability to travel globally and the the rippling effects of consumerism, the individual has potentially more impact on the world than ever before. We are both more informed and less informed than ever. We have more access but less accountability. What people choose to care about seems to be haphazardly decided and their actions (or lack thereof) are equally misinformed. I do not exclude myself from these mistakes. I think we are all guilty and that makes me sad and regretful.

There are so many potential futures. Ordinarily, I’d say I straddle the realms of optimistic dreamer and pragmatic scientist, but recently I’ve become more uncertain about how much faith I can put into other people and myself to bring about the best possible future. I can only hope that these feelings will pass without loosing them as valuable reflections that drive compassionate actions in the future.

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