St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, encouraged his followers to live their lives in the service of others. How do you plan to serve others in your future endeavors?
Another bead of sweat rolled down my cheek as I stared out at the miles of barefoot children and cardboard homes engulfed in a dusty midday haze. Coming from a lower-middle class American home, I had never seen anything that could compare to what I saw in the outskirts of Cabo San Lucas. As I looked towards the children, playing barefoot in the street, I felt a tug on the bottom of my t-shirt. I looked down at the face of a boy around the age of six.
I glanced at the plastic water bottle in my hand. A small amount of the lukewarm liquid remained, and I handed it to the boy, who thanked me with a smile. But not just any smile. It was the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. A smile that would open my eyes to new ideas, instilling within me a passion to spread that smile throughout the world. A smile that would change my life. In a community mired in poverty, where no one had anything but each other, the child showed pure joy in accepting a gift that most people would find insulting.
I have always done community service, as it is a requirement at my school, but my mission trip to Los Cabos allowed me to actually see firsthand who I was helping. I was suddenly aware of the impact I could make on someone's life, through something as simple as giving them some water, or a pair of worn-out flip-flops.
At this point I knew my purpose. It didn't matter that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, no matter what path I chose, I would use that path to the best of my ability to recreate the beauty I saw that day.