NOTE: I wrote this when I was 16 my first semester of college. I am currently in the works of a tweaked manifesto, but in the meantime this will do!
A question I many times am faced with is "why aren't you satisfied with being normal?" Normal. Where I grew up in a suburb in Thailand, normal meant hours being tutored on homework, schoolwork, getting good grades in the hopes of a stable job, preferably the same job their parents had. If that is normal, then I am not. Why be normal, when you can strive to be extraordinary? There is so much more, so much to strive for. Never let your background be your comfort blanket. As the first Thai teenager to have started an organization in my city, I had no mentors and all skepticism. Do not let your background, situation, gender, or economic status be an excuse for a lack of ambition. It is pointless to surround yourself in an environment where you are the best. Being a small fish in a big pond leaves room to grow. Travel without being a tourist. To travel is to be empathetic, to abandon all past biases. Remember that people are not zoo animals; hold life by the heart not by the snap of a camera. Be humble. There is nothing more blinding than a closed mind and a raised ego. Listen. Every person and place has a story; first listen and then write. Fear is in the mind. Fear is a part of us, but to let it become us is a choice. And when fear is gone, we will remain. Go down the path unknown, take chances, take risks. Be a misfit. Live with eyes wide open, insatiable curiosity and wonder. Know that capability is in the mind, everything is in the mind. Always strive to learn new things every day, and know that who you are today can change. Through the hardest times come strength. And always, always remember, if you don't agree with what "normal" is, try to define it yourself.
“Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure” (Marianne Williamson)