I do because I can.
That's the response I came up with when someone once challenged me for a reason behind all my volunteer work and civic commitments. It was a teasing question meant to imply that my life wouldn't have any meaning without the obligations, but in retrospect I think it's my life that gives those obligations meaning.
An olympian does not wake up one morning and decide to lace up his sneakers and chase after a gold medal. He runs thousands and thousands of miles. He studies technique and spends hours conditioning his body. He pounds the pavement in rain and snow and wind and sweltering heat. He evaluates every vitamin and every ounce of food and water that passes his lips. He relies on ice packs and heating pads to soothe an aching body.
The marathon runner eats, breathes, sweats and dreams about his goal - the ultimate finish line - often times dedicating himself to years of rigorous training in a quest to stand atop the winner's podium.
It is passion, patience and sheer ambition that leads the marathon runner through the challenges and obstacles on the path to victory.
I have my own finish line.
My list of goals is a short one, but it's important all the same. I've spent years working toward my own aspirations, fully aware that most good things don't just happen to people, they evolve after a long term commitment to hard work.
My dedication to my career and local civic initiatives are all a part of my plan to become a better person. I have filled up my life with worthwhile interests and I firmly believe they will lead me to personal growth, a sense of fulfillment and true love.
Every day I strive to live with passion because I do not want life to pass me by as I go through the motions.
I want to experience life as it happens.