My Un-Official Auto-Bio Will be Accompanied with Tips on How to Smile

Christopher LaBorde - Senegal

July 10, 2012

I’ve always been a big questioner.  I think “Why?” is my favorite one.  A favorite story my mom likes to tell about me goes:

He’s four years old, we’re in my bedroom talking.  He stops, and gets this deep, contemplative, inquisitive look on his face and asks, “Mom? Why awh we heow?” (why are we here) and I say, “Why are we here? Like why are we in my bedroom? Why are we at the house?” “NO, why awh we heeeow? On da eofh?” (on the earth.)

My question, in essence, at 4 years old was “What is the point of our existence?” You know, “Why awh we heeow?” And I remember she told me “Well, Christopher, it’s different for everyone. You’re going to have to figure that one out for yourself.”

Since then I’ve been searching for the answer. I’ve uncovered small parts of it, but more so, I’ve only uncovered new questions to be answered. Sometimes, I think the question is more important than the answer. I think we must create a meaning for our own lives, for ourselves. We must assign purpose to our lives, to be agents of change, and to meet our calling. We must listen to our souls and follow that feeling, that reason we believe we are here for. Then, our motivation will be natural. It will come from within.

My calling, if that’s what you wish to call it, my—direction, has always been towards helping other people, teaching other people. It started off small, with helping those around me. But as I have matured, and grown closer to being a man, my community has also evolved. It has grown from my family, to my classroom, to my school, to my community, to the world. I feel that I have a responsibility, to myself, to the earth, and to the people I share it with. I feel that I am here to bring change, to make the world a better place, and in order to do this, I need to be able to see the world from many different perspectives, not only my own. And THAT is why I am taking a Global Citizen Year.

I AM Nature Man. I see myself (and each of us), as really smart monkeys, imbued with extraordinary gifts and power—the gift of rationalization, the gift of being able to choose thought and consideration over impulse, the ability to manipulate our environment—but as animals, nonetheless. With regards to this last gift, we have been irresponsible. As Spiderman’s uncle once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” We must accept this responsibility, because nothing else can. But it is a process, in which we must learn to correct our mistakes, rather than perpetuate them, to progress rather than regress. I am doing this to learn more about the world I live in, I am doing this to make a difference, I am doing this for the adventure. I am doing this to BRING THE CHANGE.

Christopher LaBorde