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Naive was I, when attending my first year in high school in America, thinking that besides receiving the best grades possible, participating into club activities, taking leadership roles, there was nothing else to think about. Students were already with their mind set into what university to apply to, what they will be when grown up. Everybody had a story of when they were a child how a firefighter saved his/her life and he/she eventually wanted to be one to. I was ashamed to say that no one saved my life, not a firefighter, not even a police man and the only heroes in my life were my parents. However, I did not want to do what they were involved in. I just knew that I like helping those in need, I like leading those that need to be led, and I thought it amazing to know that I can make people smile (in my own simple way).
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One day, during my English class, one of the school ESL teachers invited blind children to our classroom. She challenged us to walk around blindfolded for the whole day and experience their reality of the world. Besides realizing that it is almost impossible to do that for a few hours without feeling frustrated and mad, I could not understand how they do it. I wanted to help them, make a difference in their lives somehow. It seemed that out of all the senses, losing sense of sight is the hardest to endure. And yet they, the blind children, really were surviving and living as how more fortunate individuals do. From then on, I sought to find ways on how I can help not only blind people but those individuals who have eye defects.
Eventually, I apprehended that there was really an effective way on how I can actualize such desired vocation – and that is by undertaking a profession that would allow me to gain knowledge and skills in curing and treating people who have eye deficiencies. Of course I also have to earn money for my family and own sake but I would not be contented by such objective. I really want to help those people who have eye disorders and diseases. And so I decided to carry out these two ultimate goals by obtaining a degree in Optometry. And after finishing it, my vocation to help people would finally come true.
Shadowing optometrists specializing in different areas like low vision, visual therapy, and contact lenses has provided me great insight into the, yet, unknown world of optometry. I have seen with what mutual joy doctors enlighten the patients' lives, and patients surprise of a new world the first time they put on a pair of glasses. For me, it is the most precious reward that a doctor can received; something that is more than money and luxury.
The thought that I would be able to make people see what they do not see, or at least what is so hard for them to see, really inspires me to move towards what my vocation calls me. I prefer to call such as a mission given to me by God so I can truly say that somehow or at one point in my life I have given a selfless love, in its most authentic and truest sense.
Moreover, I believe in what the New Testament says that whatever you do to other people is also the thing that you do to Him (Pennock, 2003). This also boosts my morale in pursuing my vocation because I know that by showing care and love to other people, mostly to those unfortunate ones, I also show how much I love God. Eyes are the windows of one’s soul in which one could really see God in His most loving form.
Being an optometrist is surely no easy task. One should be really knowledgeable, skilled and well-trained in diagnosing and treating eye disorders. Lots of patience, prudence, and wisdom are required to earn it. Well there is no easy job after all. Yet, if one truthfully loves what he does, then everything will be in its right place – everything will be okay.
I suppose that being an optometrist is one of the best areas of medicine that one could take and practice. God does not really inflict suffering to anyone (like the very idea of being blind or having eye defect). He only wants everyone to realize that in their simplest and modest ways, they can really become the blessings of God to those people (which in my case by allowing them to see how beautiful life is).
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