This summer has proven to be one of great spiritual and mental growth. I feel like I am finally discovering what being human is all about. I have embraced religion — something I thought I had left in the dust of my Catholic childhood. I have realized the roots of human conflict and am better able to separate my feelings from the truth. Patterns are emerging — perhaps not patterns explicable by mathematical means — but the patterns that shape and evolve people.

One theme of the summer has been tolerance. I have recognized the merits of diversity — not only among different creeds and ethnicities — but in all facets of life.

As a result, I am more confident and secure with myself. The problems of our lives are all created within ourselves — anxieties manifest inside our minds, and therefore we can control them. That is not to say that we should ignore life’s difficulties, but that we should identify the roots of our problems and change our behavior appropriately.

My parents always told me that I could be whatever I wanted if I put my mind to it. I’m not sure if they were eluding to the above philosophy, but their words still hold true.