The other day I was on Skype chatting with a friend of mine, Dale, and we got to talking about what we wanted to do with our lives and I think the conversation went something like this:
Dale: What do you want to do before you die?
Me: Backpack around Europe for a month or Asia or both.
Dale: Start a National Library Foundation.
(we then went for another 2 hours resulting in a list 60 items long which can be seen here)
I decided that I wanted to write a bit more about my list of things and make it more my own, after all the list that we made was half Dale's.
So here's my list:
- Backpack on each continent except Antarctica for a period of time
- Learn to think in another language. Not only speak it, but think in it.
- Write a love song. Pour my heart out into words and hopefully some music Like in that episode of This American Life in which Phil Collins helps Starlee Kine write a break-up song.
- Fall in Love and be loved in return. What can I say? I'm basically a hopeless romantic. Even though more than half of Americans have been divorced I still believe in finding true love.
- Learn to code - Build an app and deploy it.
- Write and produce a play. I've been involved in a bunch of plays and helped write some, but have never really written and produced one of my own.
- Reform education. Growing up in California public school system I've seen how messed up it can be. I believe that it can be fixed and part of that is giving each child an individualized education plan and really teaching them to learn from the world around them.
- Being a mentor. Without all the amazing people in my life I would probably be homeless and begging for quarters. Everyone needs to have a mentor to guide them in life. I want to return that favor. I don't think I'm qualified to at this point and I'm not an expert in anything, but I'm someone who loves to just sit down for a cup of tea or chocolates (you should get this reference if you've see Good Will Hunting, and if you don't you should watch it.) and just talk about anything, if you ever need advice I'd love to help.
- Learn to fly an airplane. I'm a sailor and I love the freedom of getting in a boat and having no boundaries. I'd love to experience that in the air.
- Start a chocolate company that makes only dark chocolate. Yeah. I don't understand milk or white chocolate. White chocolate isn't even cocoa.
- Free 4G for the world. Communication should be free.
- Write a children's book. Change lives. The world needs idealists who never stop believing. If you don't dream, you'll never succeed.
- Be a guest on Fresh Air and Talk of the Nation. I listen to these two programs almost religiously every day. Terry Gross is probably tied as best interviewer with Ira Glass and since I don't think I'd ever be on This American Life, I want to be on Fresh Air. I want to be on Talk of the Nation because everyone who gets on is an expert on a certain subject and I want to be the authority on something.
- 2024 Leung Stephens. I should start fund raising now.
- Skydive, Paraglide, Windsurf. I want to try everything once.
- Go to culinary school. I've always loved cooking and I think it's something that I can be good at. It's an art and since I'm not a great writer or visual artist, I want to pour my soul into something that others can appreciate by eating. Plus I love eating and want to learn to made all those fabulous things no matter how unhealthy.
- Start a news media outlet that ousts Fox News as the top news source in America. Why does this even need to happen? Fox news should not be considered news no matter what political lean and I don't consider Keith Olbermann news either.
- Reform California budget. How can a state be a world leader when it also owes the most money?
- Bail out the New York Times. The Times is part of America, it has played many a role in shaping our country and is something that if let die would be a great detriment to society. It continues to uphold journalistic excellence sending reporters all over the world to do real reporting, not sensationalism news.
- Save a life. Not save someone from drowning, but finding someone in a dark place of depression or drug addiction and helping them get out of that hole. Sometimes people need a helping hand. I've definitely been overwhelmed at times in my life and felt that the world was collapsing on me, but I have always had amazing friends who have helped me. I want to do the same.
- Win Nobel Prize. Most likely peace, but who knows. I'd like to be beyond recognition, but I think receiving a prize would be a great honor and help me continue changing the world.
- Compete in the Olympics or America's Cup. I love sailing and I'd love to work hard enough at it that I was good enough to compete on the world stage.
- See Aurora Borealis from Arctic Circle. That would just be amazing.
- Sail around the world for a few years. Stop off at ports all over the world picking up friends and dropping them off along the way, just have an amazing time and expanding my world view. Visiting as many people as I can and changing the world. I want to sail along the coast of Chile, visit the Galapagos, New Zealand, Philippines, just everywhere that has a coast.
- Live homeless for a month. Something to stay humble.
- Build a school. This one goes hand in hand with number 7, it's the first step. I want to give kids an education of an expensive prep school regardless of their income, having independent learning plans for each student, shaping them into the leaders of tomorrow. Giving them all the resources that they need. You can't move an entire mountain, but you can move a stone and if you move enough stones you can really change the world.
- Build a full-size tree house or network of rooms in trees. This is the child inside me talking, I want to live amongst the trees and live in the trees. I want to be able to see the stars at night without the light pollution of the city.
- Photography published in National Geographic. Learn to take photos that change the world and share it with the world.
- Visit the Himalayas. I don't need to climb Everest, but I'd love to visit. It's supposed to be really beautiful.
- Eliminate age as a barrier. I don't believe that age is something that should hold you back. I believe youth have just as big a voice if not bigger than any other demographic. I'm working on a project to achieve this. I want people to stop looking down to youth. I don't believe age and maturity have anything to do with each other and there are plenty of 30 somethings or older people who don't act any more mature than a five year old.
- Reform college admissions process. GPA really shouldn't be that big of a thing and people have no business applying to 18 schools like I am. Applying to college should be an enjoyable process for schools to really find people who would love going to their school not people who apply to them from a brochure.
- Put College Board out of business. They claim to be a non-profit, but charge $70 for SATs, $110 per AP and all kinds of other fees to send scores, scholarship profiles, and everything else they can charge for. It has seriously got to end. They make more money than most for profit businesses.
That's my list as of now. I'm sure it'll keep on adding to it till the day I die, but if you want to help or join me in any of these I'd love to work with you. Together we can change the world.