Can one person change the world? Sure. Lots of ways to do that. But the way it happens for most is on a smaller scale than, say, getting promoted on Oprah's Book Club.
I see pain and suffering in the world. I believe that it is possible to alter that. I'm fairly clear on my relationship to changing the world: it's going to happen in a classroom. I may not be the Buddha, Gandhi, Muhammad or Christ, but that doesn't mean I'm helpless.
My contribution to the end of suffering is through education. It's what I do, it's what I'm good at and it's where my heart and soul repeatedly pull me. My mission: to get a Ph.D., expose people to ideas like pluralism, syncretism and religious literacy, and watch as the world changes itself one mind at a time--mine first.
I moved to Berkeley from Humboldt around a year ago. It isn't home, but I've been blessed in my living circumstances. Miraculous, really.
I recreate with friends and in Second Life, a 3D realtime MMORG online interface (my ID in world is Wyrall Peccable). I did my senior research project there, on the Five Pillars of Islam (go here to get a copy). If you're interested in virtual worlds form a different angle, I recommend Dr. Tom Boellstorff's book, Coming of Age in Second Life. He's coming at it form more of an anthropological/sociological angle, but no less fascinating for it. There are some intriguing correspondences between virtual reality as it is emerging through technology and the virtual realities that emerge from and through religion.
Grad school is trouncing me. But it's a good trouncing.
A path is made by walking upon it. --Chuang Tzu
On the outside, I'm 46, six feet tall, and somewhere between 165-180 pounds. My eyes are a changeable green; my hair is long, silver-esque and curly. But that's only the outside. How much of our evaluation of others is done by appearance, and is that an acceptable percentage?
I have done a great many things. Not all of them have been done superbly, but most of them have been done quite enthusiastically. I've raised a child, survived crippling accidents, learned to walk when I was told I never would again, and lived a great deal in the world. I am prepared and ready to commit myself to my mission. I can do anything I set myself to.
So far, I've managed 2 almost double-full-time semesters and sustained a 4.0. I've been doing a surprising amount of work in Islam, with which I am fascinated. Looks like the certificate in Islamic Studies is a go. While I remain strongest in the Abrahamic traditions, I continue to explore others, to deepen my understanding (or at least come to understand how little I can understand).
My Second Life avatar,
\Pec"ca*ble\, a. [Cf. F. peccable.] Liable to sin; subject to transgress the divine law. ``A frail and peccable mortal.''
--Sir Walter Scott
"Every human being is interested in two kinds of worlds: the Primary, everyday world which he knows through his senses, and a Secondary world or worlds which he not only can create in his imagination, but which he cannot stop himself creating."
Grad school is costly. Will you help in any amount, to get another voice for peace and justice in the world? Thank you!