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BG Falcon Media

Publishing independent student content

BG Falcon Media

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September 29, 2023

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What’s your calling in life?

A couple years ago, my mom picked me up in Bowling Green to go visit my brother out in Chicago. It was my first year here at the University, so the car ride was filled with conversations about how much I was enjoying school and looking forward to my future plans.

Chicago is truly one of the great American cities. I went up the Sears Tower and wandered the busy streets with the excitement of cars and people. But the part I remember most was this little bookstore. It wasn’t the bookstore itself, but the book I found that flipped my world completely upside down.

For my Introduction to English Literature class, I had to pick a book to do a report on. At that moment, I felt this was what called me into the bookstore: the need for a book. The book I ended up choosing was “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. I am sure many people have heard of it.

“The Alchemist” is about a young Spanish shepherd boy named Santiago, who was told by a gypsy that he would find a great treasure buried near the Egyptian pyramids. He was a happy, content young man, yet decided to set out on the long journey. This book has to do with following what you were meant to do in life. Throughout life, people often give up on their dreams. Santiago decided not to give up on his.

I read this book in one sitting. And then I read it again. The message Paulo Coelho was trying to get across was smacking me in the face. Throughout the story, the young Santiago learned to look at the signs and omens that led to fulfilling his dream. In my own life, I started to look at the same aspects. Why did I meet this person? Why was he or she put in my life? Why did I meet the woman I love and then have to leave her? Why was this book put in my hands?

I am sure confusion is finding you, the reader. But after reading this book, I decided to do some more research on Paulo Coelho. During this research, there was a quote that stood out to me. He began by asking the question, “What is the human being’s funniest characteristic?” And the answer he gives us is, “Our contradictoriness. We are in such a hurry to grow up and then we long for out lost childhood. We make ourselves ill earning money, and then spend all our money on getting well again. We think so much about the future that we neglect the present and thus experience neither the present nor the future. We live as if we were never going to die and die as if we never lived.”

What do you receive from this quote?

When I first started attending the University, all I wanted was to get a degree so I could have a dependable job. I just found myself in a basic schedule of classes during the week and parties on the weekend. Is this the kind of life that I want to lead? Do I just want to become part of the machine that is America?

As humans, we are all so unique, and each of us has our own calling. I keep getting a calling to go travel the world and have a spiritual journey, and that being in school now is preventing me from my true dream. I am comfortable here, but I feel there is a larger calling for me. My calling is a spiritual journey. What is yours?

People, my fellow students and readers, we are in such a prime point in our lives. We need to ask ourselves the reasons for what we are doing. In my case, I have this calling to go travel. For you, it may be different. I ask each of you to look into yourselves and ask what your calling is.

Ask yourself whether you are studying for this degree for the gain in knowledge and love or for the guarantee of money and comfort. I don’t want to be contradictory, even though some of my friends probably think I am. Either way, I want to find my dream and fulfill it, no matter where it takes me and what it costs.

Each of us needs to find this. Let us each find our real dream and destiny to enjoy the presence of this wonderful life and world.

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