A Hungry Mind

It was 1980, and she was 13 years old. After a day of toiling in the field, a half a bowl of dirty rice surrounded by flies would be waiting for her at the dinner table. Of course, she was hungry, but wanted nothing more but a voice to carry the words she could not speak. So she picked up a book and learned how to read. Twenty years later, that poor girl, my mother, taught me that no food was more nutritious than the knowledge that fills your mind. She said, “Jordan, feeding a hungry body can satisfy your stomach, but feeding a hungry mind will satisfy your soul.”

I took my mother’s words to heart, and realized the importance of feeding as many hungry minds as possible. It may have started as the desire to educate people, but it transformed into so much more.

Growing older, the rush of planning out the future and the thrill of figuring out how the world ticks, all fed into this pipe dream that I could actually change people’s lives. As many of you know, the feeling never stops. It’s an addiction made up of passion, vision, and drive, that paints a picture of you sitting on top of your success with the words “I MADE IT” drawn in crayon above your head.

But something always happens.

You learn something about the world or are told something about life that changes how you see everything, and that dream of success morphs into a gray caricature of you sitting in a maze of cubicles with the words “This is life.” typed in Times New Roman above you. This is no excuse to give up. Sure, you may grow an icy exterior to protect the warm fuzzy dream hiding inside you, but don’t ever pussy out and do something easy.

DO SOMETHING HARD, because it will last.

I realized that this was the lesson my mother tried to teach me. It wasn’t to feed my mind, or even feed the minds of others, but that no matter how unsatisfied the soul, go forward with hunger, so I’ll always want more.

The one thing that never changes as the world keeps poking at you is the ability to keep thinking about everything. The burden of the bigger picture is something we were endowed as chosen ones to protect the future, and it’s our inborn duty to keep on creating.

To me, the bigger picture can’t be seen alone. I joined SEP because from day one, I saw the hunger to succeed, I saw the addiction to keep on dreaming, and I saw the drive to do something hard.

I joined SEP because I saw a room full of badasses who were actually capable of getting shit done.