One Single Drop of Water
Krystyl Chwa, Division 3, College senior #ws17e-s1d3

Reflected in a mirror, one can easily point out the physical differences that set us apart from one another. Features like skin color, hairstyle, height, and fashion choices are just some of the characteristics often used to differentiate, identify, and set us apart from everyone else. But ultimately, it is not our outward appearances that set us apart, and a mirror cannot show you anything beyond these physical appearances. It cannot reflect our ideals, our actions, our words, our personal qualities, or our hearts—and those are the differences between people that truly matter. The qualities that I value, and what I believe I do differently than my peers, is that I define my worth not by my single individual accomplishments, but by how I affect the people and the world around me.

When I was younger, much like many of my peers, I struggled to find my own identity. I put too much emphasis on my superficial qualities that others could see, rather than the qualities that genuinely mattered. I concerned myself with how I looked, how I dressed, and what other people thought of when they saw me. I constantly needed to know what was considered “cool”, what trends were important to follow to fit in, yet unique enough to stand out. Maintaining appearances grew exhausting, and despite all the efforts, I felt more lost than ever. Fortunately, as I grew older, I began to notice how much more my actions and my words influenced peoples’ perceptions of me. The aspects about myself that I never thought twice about defined me more than any other superficial qualities ever did. I had influence over how I affect others and as a person that strives for change, I believe that the change needs to begin with me.

I now live my life genuinely and authentically. I follow what makes me happy, and through my individual accomplishments and pursuits, I hope I can help shape a better future for not only myself, but also everyone around me. My true character is reflected in my beliefs, my actions, and the smiles of all those I’ve had the opportunity to touch on the way. Whether it’s a small kindness, like helping a classmate carry their books to class, or a grand act of compassion, like volunteering at homeless shelters in the community—I know that small or grand, I am working toward something bigger than myself.

Compassion, kindness, generosity and love come easily in times of prosperity, but in the midst of adversity, it can become the most difficult thing to do. In my eyes, compassion, kindness and thoughtfulness are a personal responsibility. As a human being in this world, my actions have the power to affect not only myself, but everyone around me as well. Although I am just one individual, I have the ability to shape my future with my actions, and ideally, I’d like to leave the people I meet and the world I live in, better than I entered it. Like a single drop of water, though small, it can still send ripples across an ocean. When I look in the mirror, I am not a combination of my physical, outward appearances. I am a single drop of water, with the potential to send ripples across an entire ocean. I can only hope that my ripples can spread love, kindness and compassion as far as they reach.
Shared publiclyView activity