Critical Essay: Where am I from, and how has it shaped me?

Looking back into my life in the past and the present, I see a future potential of success. I have always done things with extreme optimism and positivism, and this has shaped my life positively. Although I fail in some areas sometimes, my overall performance in whatever I do has always been exceptional. The secret to my success has always been the power from within. I have always believed in myself, and I still do hitherto. I always do whatever I do with the belief that I will succeed. This belief has boosted my performance in all aspects of my life – social relationships, education, work, and other aspects of life.

Born of a religious and conservative family, my childhood was always characterized by routine chores and submissiveness to authority. My parents taught me good character and behaviour, and I have always observed the norms and ethics that define my community. I have been taught to be obedient to every elderly person. I have also learnt to treat other people with a lot of reverence and appreciation. This has given me an opportunity to shun selfishness and serve others selflessly. I understand that the community is made up of different types, each of whom has a role to play. Therefore, I appreciate everyone for whoever they are.

I always treat every human being equally. Religiously, I offer my services to humankind without any selfish interest. This has enabled me to get along well with myself and with other people in the society. Being able to serve others always gives me a strong feeling of happiness and satisfaction. I always become comfortable and relaxed when I help someone in any way. According to me, giving back to the community is an essential element of a good life (Gülçür & Ozalp, 2009). In order for me to grow at a personal level, I should first allow others to grow equally. I do not believe in the behavior of trampling on others in order to succeed.

An example of a situation in which I served the community was when I offered my services to Red Cross as a volunteer. Red Cross was collecting blood from donors within my hometown, so I offered to be a volunteer in the process. I organized the donors and directed them to their designated areas of blood donation. I also kept records of the amount of blood donated and received feedback, complains and comments from donors. As a result, the blood donation process was faster than ever before. Although I offered my services for free, I benefited a lot from the process. Apart from receiving an award certificate from Red Cross, I also developed my skills and learnt to work with members of the community.

Through such and other social programs that I have always engaged in, I have developed my social skills. Furthermore, my level of confidence and self-esteem are boosted by the services I offer to the community. By offering my voluntary services to the community, I come to understand that I can be able to change lives; hence I gain confidence with myself. Seeing someone surviving through difficult moments as a result of my services also gives me the courage to do the same good things again. This motivates me and allows me to develop my skills even better.

When the society or the community improves due to my voluntary work, it does not improve just for the sake of others; it also improves for my own sake. When I was growing up as a child, my father used to participate in community service. Being the son of a recognized person in the community due to his dedication to offer community service, I always received a lot of favors and morale-boosting compliments from my teachers and classmates at school. This has motivated me to be a hardworking student and community servant. I strived to make the world a better place since I was young.

Now that I am a grown-up person, I do not plan to commit myself as a fulltime community worker but I will always be actively involved in activities that are aimed at improving the community and its people. As I pursue my profession and career, I put the concerns of the society at the forefront. In my profession, I will always put the interests of the community at the forefront. Whether I serve in an organisation, a business firm or a government institution, I intend to create a positive impact on the community in overall. Usually, part of the programs of organisations and institutions is corporate social responsibility. This entails creating an impact in communities and the environment. Without the community, my success in professionalism would be extremely difficult. The community plays a crucial role in shaping the life of every individual in the society. Where I have come from has made me appreciate that fact, and it will be the platform within which I will perform in my profession and career in future.

Another important aspect about me is that I love nature as much as I love humankind. This is because I perceive humankind as part of nature, at least as far as my religion is concerned. I believe that human beings were created as superior members of nature, and so we should take care of nature. I always like walking in the garden during my leisure time. I enjoy seeing wild animals and plants in their natural habitats. This love for nature has shaped me because it has enabled me to appreciate and be committed to protect the environment. I am always unhappy for the practices that seemingly destroy the environment. For instance, I strongly oppose the practices of cutting down of trees and killing of wild animals by poachers.

This attitude is in fact not a matter of protecting the environment for the sake of humankind, but for its own sake; for the sake of nature (Moely et al, 2009). This attitude has proved to be important even for humankind because in the end, a sustainable environment is good for the economic progress and healthy living of humankind. I have spent part of my life in the past struggling to save the environment by participating in environmental conservation activities. This has given me a sharper focus on the things that matter the most in the society – environmental sustainability and economic development.

My character has also shaped me in different ways. Since childhood, I have always learnt to develop character traits that seem right to me, and not as perceived by others. Religion played a crucial role in determining my character. My parents also exercised their duties of shaping my character effectively by teaching me good morals and ethics regularly and routinely. Therefore, my life is mainly guided by good morals and ethics. I understand that doing things right is good for the community, and that is always my greatest concern.

One of the characteristics that have led me to behave ethically and morally is respect and obedience. Religion has taught me to respect authorities. As a result, I have always respected school authorities since my early years in school. I have also obeyed my parents and religious leaders. Obedience and respect does not only involve respecting or obeying the people with higher authority, but everyone who plays an important role in shaping may life. Respect and obedience have shaped me because they have enabled me to live according to the positive conventions that have enabled others to succeed in the past. I also believe that I deserve respect if I am to succeed in life. Since respect is earned and not given, I have learnt to respect others in order for others to respect me as well.

I have realized that empathy is an essential element to be able to serve the community, create a sustainable environment and respect others. In terms of empathy, I usually learn to appreciate others for whoever they are. I put myself in the shoes of others and do to them whatever I would like them to do to me. I understand others and do my best to meet their needs in order to create a harmonious environment for every member of the society. In class, at home, at work and in anything that I engage in, I have always desired to respect the views and opinions of other people. This has shaped my judgments and enabled me to consider the views of others in decision making. As a result, I avoid making decisions that may be undesirable in my life because human beings make mistakes. Without the advice and opinions of others, my decisions may always be flawed with errors. Therefore, empathy has played a crucial role in shaping me for the better.

I have also come from a past that is guided by love, compassion, humility and kindness. I was taught since I was young that being kind and compassionate to others is the key aspect of success. These character traits have shaped me positively. With love and kindness, I have always been able to interact well with members of the society. This has boosted my dream to change the community because it has enabled me to serve other members of the community with a lot of love and kindness. Compassion has also enabled me to help the underprivileged in the society and allow them to contribute equally with others to the progress of the society. I have always been in the frontline helping the needy, visiting the sick and supporting the old. My contribution to the community has always been supported by my heart’s desire to achieve great things for the society rather than for my own sake through love, compassion, kindness and humility. As a result, I have been shaped through better concern for others.

Indeed, my past has been great success and as a result I am poised for greater success in future. I am looking forward to a time when my contributions will be felt not only by the local community but also the international community. My main focus on the community has been defined by the character that I developed since childhood. My character is composed of a mixture of love, kindness, humility, compassion, respect, obedience and empathy. These traits have propelled me to what I am today, and I am expecting things to get better for me and for the society in future even as I attempt to develop my character and my range of focus on the community more positively. In future, I will be able to contribute largely to the improvement and best status of the environment and the community. This, I believe, will reward me with a better and conducive environment and conditions of life for me and the future generations.

 

References list

Gülçür, M. K., & Ozalp, J. (2009). Good character: A comprehensive guide to manners and morals in Islam. Somerset, N.J: Light.

Moely, B. E., Billig, S., & Holland, B. A. (2009). Creating our identities in service-learning and community engagement. Charlotte, N.C: IAP, Information Age Publishing.

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