I find uniqueness in everyone I meet, and the story they tell about themselves, however, many never share their story with the world. It is becoming more common in my generation, the millennials, and the generation after, Gen Z or iGen, to share our thoughts and opinions with the world. Although this may open the gates to criticism, it allows for the sharing of ideas and opinions through a platform that is widely accessible.
My story is quiet unique. I was born in Charleston, South Carolina to two middle class, Jewish transplants from Connecticut. I grew up in Goose Creek, a city about 30 minutes from Downtown Charleston, where my family was one of the handful of Jewish families within the city limits. I had a wonderful childhood, filled with great friends and loving family.
Yet, it wasn’t always so happy. In 2008, I was diagnosed with thrombocytopenia, which is just the scientific term for low platelet count. My platelet count has always been between 100k to 120k, when the normal should be 150k. At the time, my doctors forbid me from playing any contact sports due to the unknown affect a hard impact may do to my body.
I had always dealt with bullying since middle school, however, it got worse through high school. Being the only Jewish student within the public schools I attended, made it exceptionally hard. I debated whether it was right for me to hide my culture and religion in order to prevent judgements, or speak up and teach others to end ignorance. I chose the latter and in high school, I saw how frightening that could have been.
High school was rough. The summer prior to freshman year, I lost my grandmother, my last living grandparent. I spoke up about me being Jewish in my freshman history class, and I was shocked at people’s expressions and curiosity of what that meant. Students never met someone who was Jewish and only knew about the stereotypes that are portrayed through the media and cartoons like South Park. My nickname in high school was “the Jewish kid” and “Jew.” The worst came junior year, when I experienced anti-Semitism for the first time. You can read about my experience in On My Experience With Discrimination.
Though I have had many challenges and failures, I have had accomplishments within my life. In 2010, I earned the rank of Eagle Scout; I graduated with an Associates of Arts; I am working towards my Bachelors of Arts; I got a job that I love and use everything I learned in my major in college; I have gotten married; and have a wonderful group of friends.It is my belief that we learn most from our failures, and that a person’s character is not determined by his list of successes, but how fast he bounces back from failure. President Theodore Roosevelt once said in his Man in the Arena speech,
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
My goal in life is to administer societal change through practical, public policy and administration. I do know I may have opinions that are different than many of my readers, however, I am taking a different approach in discussing issues. Although it is easy to just disregard opinions that may be different than your own, I take an academic approach to writing about issues, citing sources, statistics, and facts.
This blog is my story, journey, ideas, and my philosophy in life. Perhaps you will find comfort knowing you are not alone in your own journey, challenges, and beliefs. Perhaps you just see me as a naive 24 year old. Either way, welcome!