Prompt 3 - Using the following quotation from "The Moral Obligations of Living in a Democratic Society" as a starting point, tell us about an event or experience that helped you define one of your values or changed how you approach the world:
"Empathy is not simply a matter of trying to imagine what others are going through, but having the will to muster enough courage to do something about it. In a way, empathy is predicated upon hope."
- Cornel West, Class of 1943 University Professor in the Center for African American Studies, Princeton University
Staring at the chaos that was my room, I realized that I must finally clean the mess that had been growing for months. As I started opening drawers and rummaging through papers, digging deeper into the mess, I uncovered a memento of my forgotten past. I looked at my blue Sailor Moon tin in astonishment as memories flooded back into my mind. I remembered the sticky messes in the kitchen as four small girls spent the whole morning baking sweets from scratch. I remembered the many culinary disasters and successes when testing new recipes. I remembered the countless laughs we shared trying to sell our creations.
To me, we were the four most ambitious sixth-graders I had known. As a patient at the Children's Hospital of Orange County a few years prior, I empathized with the other children who would be committed to the hospital far longer than I. I rallied my three closest friends together and we decided to utilize our love of baking for a charitable cause. With some fiscal support from our parents, a fancy acronym for our new group, and about ten recipes from the Internet we began to prepare for our first of many bake sales. We would wake up early, turn on some music, and spend hours stirring, refrigerating, and baking in my kitchen until a thin layer of flour and powdered sugar covered every surface.
Then came the task of selling our products. Unsure of whether we would get into trouble, I sat quietly at our table and tried not to draw to much attention to our bake sale. However, as time passed, I realized that the bake sale would not be successful if I was not going to try to draw in customers. I began dancing around with the posters and hollering at adults passing by. I overcame my embarrassment and had the time of my life. I packed the donations into my Sailor Moon tin with a smile on my face and a sense of accomplishment.
As I looked at this tin, I realized that although I may have forgotten the bake sales, I have never forgotten the lessons I have learned from them. Raising money for the children's hospital was a way for me to help change the misfortune of others rather than simply feeling sorry. Since then, I have always held dear the principle that taking action is the sole way to solve any problem and mustering up the courage to do so is worth the outcome. My desire to make a difference is part of the reason I want to major in political science. It is up to me to be a catalyst for change.