Since an early age, I had pretty deep morals set in stone. As a senior in high school, I went vegetarian, gave up meat completely for a little over a year. The commitment was perhaps a phase, but it started because I gave up meat for Lent and then saw a PETA video of farmers neglecting chickens, GMO inserting steroids into animals resulting to animals being so plump that their legs broke being unable to support their bodies. During college, I minimized my living style not only because I was a broke and in debt college student but also because I believed I had too many excessive, unnecessary things that I was becoming materialistic. I thought about people in other nations, third world nations. I thought about all that I had and questioned if they all were necessary things. I tried carrying my entire life in my backpack. Everything of importance to me was in my pack on my back. After watching a PETA video of helpless, innocent sheep getting their wool coats viciously ripped off by workers, I cleaned out my closet, read every label tag that I had, and rid everything from wool. Surprisingly, I didn’t have many. Most were my winter sweaters and socks, but I had no regrets, plus it downsized my closet which reminded me of when I was a child. As a child, I chose to have only two pairs of underwear although my parents bought me new packs each season. Having two was all I needed, really. I didn’t mind having to hand wash my own underwear in the shower every or every other night.

As a child, I blew my parents’ minds and expectations of me when I babysat our neighbor’s daughter for 2 hours and was given my very first “paycheck” for work (except I was paid in cash). It was eight dollars. My mom took me to the grocery store to buy a carton of eggs, a jug of milk, and a small chip bag for me. With the eggs, my mom was able to make a meal for my entire family of five siblings. Ever since, both my parents would still tell that story and speak of my generosity and thoughtfulness. They remind me that I have a huge, soft heart filled with love for others, for people. They remind me that giving to others, sharing with others with what little you have is the most selfless, kindest act a person can do to show love. Although I choose to make these sacrifices without ever knowing if they would impact others, without ever knowing if my sacrifices would help anyone or anything, I don’t really care. I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I don’t care because I care about other things that are more important. I don’t care because I chose.

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