Humans have struggled throughout the centuries with the complexity and ambiguity of our humanity. The question of what we are as humans is a difficult one and does not have an easy answer. Our first understanding of humanity is based within the framework of the worldview in which we were raised within. A worldview is not something that comes over night; it is something that surrounds you for your whole life, outlining the way in which you live. Although sometimes transparent, your worldview allows you to make decisions based on how you see the world. Many people choose to have part of their worldview mapped out for them through the guidelines of religion. Others, like myself, base much of their worldview off of the experiences they gain while they are here. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what influences have shaped my worldview, but the three that have had the most profound impact on my life are my family, my friends, and my personal experiences.
My family, and more specifically my dad, has had the biggest impact on my worldview to this day. My dad instilled in me many of the beliefs and values that he lived his life by. In the sixteen years that I shared with my father, he taught me countless life lessons, the most impactful being that relationships and experiences are what shape a life. The death of such an important figure made me realize what a large impact relationships have on life. The relationships that remained became stronger and more apparent, and the relationship that I had lost was more appreciated and cherished. My dad travelled the world for business and built relationships with diverse groups of people from all walks of life. He impressed upon me an attitude of acceptance and compassion towards others.
As I’ve matured, I’ve applied these attitudes as I encounter people of different cultures. Looking back on my fathers life, the memories that I remember best are the ones in which he introduced me to new experiences. Starting at a young age he introduced me to the breathtaking scenery of Lake Tahoe and Yosemite. He took me on excursions trekking through the Costa Rican rainforest, and scuba diving the stunning coral reefs of Belize. Since his passing, I’ve continued to travel to places like Africa and South America, and go on to gain valuable experience. It is because of the exposures to these experiences, as well as an appreciation for the value of relationships in my life, that I am thankful for the worldview that my father has instilled in me.
My father was also a man who questioned the goals and intentions of religion. He lived his life by the words of the famous Bob Marley, “Love is my Religion.” He believed it was more important to focus on loving your friends and family rather than spending your time worshiping a god that you don’t even know exists. Religion is something that has a huge impact on many people’s worldviews. Personally, I was raised agnostic and have a little bit different view on life and our creation. Being Agnostic I do not fully believe that a God or Gods exists, but I’m not in complete denial that it could be a possibility.
I believe in science and what it can prove. I am very skeptical in nature and crave substantial evidence of all things. I would like to think that there is some type of divine essence supporting human’s purpose on Earth, but no one can know for certain. For myself personally, I get pleasure out of doing good deeds and working hard. I work hard to get what I want out of this life and to become successful. If my actions cause me to “miss the boat” to a “heaven” I’m willing to take that chance. I just want to be the best person I can be while I’m on this earth, and I hope to make some type of positive dent in humanity.
My friends and the community I was raised in had had a profound impact on the shaping of my worldview. For almost my entire life I have lived in the Bay Area. It is the place I’ve grown to know and love as my home. Living in this part of the world, I’ve come to realize that people have a great deal of respect and acceptance towards others. The Bay Area is a mixing pot of many different races, and that is what makes it so special. If this was any other part of the world there would be conflict between different races, but here we thrive off of being a society made up of people from different backgrounds. This is something that has definitely rubbed off on my worldview, and I am greatly appreciative for it.
My group of friends and I pride ourselves in being made up of different races, religions, and backgrounds. A saying that we live our lives by is ‘Friendship and Diversity.’ This close-knit group of friends has had a major impact of what my worldview has become. In the summer of 2011 we suddenly lost one of our best friends to an event that was out of our control. While the initial heart wrench was difficult to deal with, it brought our group of friends much closer together. This is why I cannot stress enough the value that relationships have on one’s life. Without them life just doesn’t have the same purpose and meaning.
The last major influences on my worldview are my personal experiences. Since I was a little boy, the things that I have learned the most from are the lessons and events that I have experienced. The first lesson that I’ve learned is that hard work eventually pays off. Growing up I played water polo for much of my childhood. The summers were spent at the pool all days, practicing skills and conditioning our bodies. All of this work was in preparation for playing high school water polo. My freshman year I made varsity and our goal for the year was to win the North Coast Section. We ended up losing that year and the following two years. When senior year rolled around and I was elected team captain, I put it on myself to make sure we got the job done this year. The goal that I had set years back finally came true when we won our first North Coast title in over twenty-five years.
There is no better feeling than seeing all of the hard work you’ve put in over the years finally paying off. Aside from my water polo career I have gained valuable experiences through traveling the world. I come from a family where I am fortunate enough to get to experience different countries and cultures. The trip that I gained the most valuable experience was when my family travelled to Tanzania, Africa. Experiencing the wildlife and poverty first hand made me realize how insignificant we really are. While we are living our comfortable lives on the west coast, people are suffering to live halfway across the world. This trip taught me that the best way to get pleasure and meaning out of life is by helping others. The entire time we were there we travelled to different Masai villages and helped bring English supplies to their schools. This was definitely one of the most meaningful things that I have ever done. I hope to find time to go out of my way and help others for the rest of the time that I am here because that is what is truly important in life.
A worldview is simply just a reflection of what one’s life has become. One must reflect back on their life to truly understand their meaning and why they are here. Through family, friends, community, and experiences, one’s worldview is shaped and molded as the years go by. It is something that is difficult to grasp, but is quite therapeutic to look back on and see what has made you into the person you are today. It brings out the values and beliefs you have found true in yourself, and the relationships and experiences that have changed your life. My worldview is an honest assessment of my life thus far, and I hope to continue living my life the same way.