Tej Dhillon – Personal Inquiry

When I graduated from college I was very excited about the prospect of pursuing a career in finance.  I was eager to start a new phase of my life and learn as much as I could.  However after 2 years at Ernst & Young I began to question if this was truly the path I wanted my life to take.  The money and benefits were great however I did not feel passionate about my work and I was not developing and growing as a person.  I feel that the Clinton fellowship will enable me to grow on a personal level.  I hope to develop a better understanding of my heritage while gaining perspective and compassion.

I was born and raised in the US and I know very little about my Indian Heritage.  I have visited India several times and my parents have done their best to teach me however I feel that true understanding can only come through complete immersion.  During the 10 months of my fellowship I hope to develop a better appreciation and understanding of India.  One vital way for me to facilitate this is to become fluent in Hindi.  This will help to break down the language barrier, which has served as a substantial obstacle to my progress in the past.

When working in a corporate environment it is very easy to lose perspective on the world.  I was surrounded by wealth and educated people, stayed at nice hotels and ate at fancy restaurants.  After a couple years I began to feel that everyone in the world lives like this because I was rarely in contact with those outside this socioeconomic group.  I almost forget that poverty exists.  This lifestyle made it easy to complain about trivial things and minor inconveniences.  I feel that the opportunity provided by the Clinton Fellowship to serve those less privileged will help me develop a balanced perspective on life.  It will enhance my view of the world and of myself as a person.  The opportunity will also serve as a reminder of how lucky I have been in life and that I should not take this for granted.

I feel that developing a balanced perspective leads to the development of compassion.  Compassion is perhaps the most important single trait that a person can have.  During my fellowship I hope to continue to develop my ability to be compassionate and understanding.  This will help me to become more effective at Vatsalya and in dealing with people in general.  I am very excited about the opportunity to meet and understand the lives of individuals I would normally never meet.

Upon the completion of this fellowship I hope to have gained insight into what path I would like pursue and developed spiritually into a better human being.  I feel that both of these are very closely linked.  Finally, I hope that I can be inspired and in turn inspire others.

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