Written by: Josefina Mendez, 2016 Taylor's Gift Foundation Scholarship recipient presented by NIKE North America Merchandising
To give to others is the greatest gift you can give to yourself. Outliving myself means making a positive impact on the lives of those around me: both in big and small ways. In fact, no act of kindness is too small. I try to make it my goal every day to make another person smile, or their day a little brighter. The world is hard— there are challenges at every corner, and what, at times, seems like insurmountable mountains to climb in front of you. But no one needs to tackle his or her challenges alone. With acts of kindness, with generosity, we can all be there for each other—and make the world just a little easier.
I have just started my college career. As a first semester freshmen, the transition from high school to this new environment has been incredibly challenging. I love my school, and where I am—but that does not debase the difficulties of the transition. I now have to adapt to a foreign, rigorous environment, make all new friends, and take on challenging coursework. What has allowed me to get through the first tough months, and finally reach a place where I am comfortable in my new “home away from home” was acts of kindness from others—both by friends and total strangers—and the love and compassion I felt from my loved ones.
One day, after I had received a bad grade on one of my first college assignments, I came home to my dorm where my roommate had left me a care package of candy and an inspirational note: impelling me to keep going and not give up. Her note reminded me that even though I fell down, all I have to do is get up, brush myself off, and keep going. This note now hangs above my bed in my dorm, and I truly believe embodies the “outlive yourself” spirit. My roommate “outlives herself” through that note. Her one act of kindness, made my bad day so much brighter, and a better person because of it. For now, I strive to do the same for others: be there for others, and care for them in the way I so appreciated that day.
Outliving yourself is a lifestyle. It is a mentality of empathy. It is a commitment to others and a motto for your deepest mortality. It is, ultimately, a legacy of kindness.
Josefina is a 2016 Taylor's Gift Foundation Scholarship winner and now attends Yale University. Our application for the 2017 Taylor's Gift Foundation Scholarship presented by NIKE North America Merchandising is now open, click here to learn more or click below to apply!