the swan song


I haven’t written in a long time. Inspiration was lacking, but perhaps more than that, I felt tired. Bored, in fact. It’s a dangerous routine, when you see yourself allowing dormancy to avoid the effort of advancing. There’s a distinctive difference between rest and dormancy, one is active in promoting self-care and the other is passive in allowing decay. Spring Break came at a great time then, to allow myself to be re-inspired, reinvigorated and energized to start performing my Swan Song. I have Four Quarters left in Northwestern – and it’s time to start thinking about what they mean.

To my regular readers, I’m sure you notice the trend. I always come back after traveling with new energy and vision. This time, that force is coupled with my innate desire to leave a legacy everywhere I go in crafting this Swan Song. Four Quarters isn’t a long time. It’s a roadmap ; a runway to a bigger hope. I decided at the end of last year that my goal this year is to Heal the World, to move away from indulgence in the passions of the flesh and to think more about the pains of this generation. The next year ahead is dedicated to that goal. I’ve always believed that we must live by bigger themes, ideas that are bigger than the ‘Me, Myself and I’. It gives us perspective and a foundation for the tougher parts of our lives.

So what is this song? What is this story I am dying to tell? It’s the tale of the human soul and its energy. Imagine the soul is an orb, and if you look into it you see energy, innately attached to how you feel, dream and act. That orb can be tapped into for so much power, like when people cheer at a Football game and you hear the roar of emotion. Yet that same orb, like a nuclear device, is also so vulnerable. It can be cracked, broken or worst, corrupted. I’ve spent the last few years exploring the human soul, keeping an eye on the spectrum I’ve encountered – from the absolutely inspiring to the broken and battered to the uncouth and vulgar. My hope then is to help people realize the role they have in taking pride in their souls, to help heal the broken orbs and hopefully uncorrupt the dirtied ones.

I’ve taken on multiple projects to help me write my Swan Song. The most prominent is that of my role in IFC as VP Membership Development. I’ll be honest ; when I was elected I was sincere in my hope of promoting better education but was ignorant of the realities of the community. Yet as I let myself be open to hearing people talk and share their stories, I realized the immense gap we have in addressing real issues, and the burden of the role. That burden has become more and more my own , a weight I’ve started to carry to build the empathy needed to make this role as useful as it can be.  This project is to build an Development Culture in the Greek Community as an example of the positive and open attitude needed to build awareness, discuss and act on important issues in a college environment.

The next is to use my vocation as a nexus to do be a positive influence in the world. While the first project looked at improving culture, this looks at starting a new trend, where we realize we live in a new era, completely dictated by us, that can see doing good as just as profitable and sustainable when integrated with the skills we’ve learnt. Lattice is a collective built with friends of mine, that aims to use technology to do good, not as a side effect but as a main goal. We’re trying to engage the paradigm shift in technology and design that is either divided in non-profit or profit work, and blur the lines to show that they are not dichotomous.  Innovate and create, but above all aim to do good with what you do. We have a few design projects we want to push out before we graduate, and this is honestly one of the most exciting things I’ll look forward to doing in college. Promoting dialogue, increasing empathy and healing wounds are all themes addressed by our projects.

The last project I have in mind is one of storytelling, something I’ve always been passionate about. Through my work in video production and writing, i’ve become confident in the ability of content mediums to influence and change perspectives, to transform culture. I have yet to decide exactly what medium I plan to use, but my hope is to produce a series of content that talks about the human soul and how we can come together.

Ambitious projects are my signature. I think there’s value in dreaming big and taking the challenges others shy away from. But beyond all of that, the biggest value here is the opportunity to potentially figure out solutions to some of the most common problems in the human world. Hate, distrust and ignorance could be eroded if we figured out how to talk to the soul.  That in itself is worth all the effort in the world.

Hope must win. Hope will win.