I met someone a few days ago who challenged my sense of satisfaction with my accomplishments. At roughly my age, this person has obtained a doctorate in a challenging field, published papers, taught at a university, and is an active and acknowledged contributor in a related field. When, I wonder, do they sleep?
Up until I read their bio, I felt pretty good about myself with my service to country, honours in college and shiny new career. For a short time after, though, I felt that it was a pretty pitiful pile of accomplishments. Their acts are writ large on the stage of the world, and mine are far more humble. I yearned for the kind of greatness I saw in the deeds of this person.
This little crisis of self lasted a whole day or two until I realized that although my doings were far less public and attributable, they were no less important; by participating in peacekeeping missions, I have in a small way contributed to the stability of the world in general. By serving my country, Queen and government, I have protected and defended Canada's interests in a rather direct way.
We have both made our contributions to the world, and neither is less valid than the other. Having realized this, though, I also came to the realization that academic success is still something I crave; college is by no means the end of my scholastic journey.