Describe the world you come from; for example, your family, clubs, school, community, city, or town. How has that world shaped your dreams and aspirations? (200-250 words)

As a child, I was never allowed to play Duck, Duck, Goose. My father’s disapproval of the game stemmed from a family superstition: circling another person three times means taking on their sins. Duck, Duck Goose may be a simple children’s game, but for me, it is an example of how my background has affected my future.  

My father escaped from Iran at the age of 14, fleeing religious persecution. As his eldest son, I respect him and value the sacrifices he made. However, despite the guilt, I have chosen not to accept his superstitions into my life. Instead, I tend to rely on logic to make my decisions.

The irony, however, is that I have decided my future children will not play Duck, Duck Goose when they are little. Where is the logic in that? Banning the game while kids around them play it freely, will expose them to a slightly different experience than their peers from a young age. This will force my children to question, discuss, examine their feelings, explain their predicament, and decide what they will do when they are older, just as I have.

 I aspire to lead a life in which I am not just accepting of the status quo, but I am constantly evaluating, asking questions, and pushing the limits. More importantly, I hope I will encourage others, including my future children, to do the same because innovation and change come about when our assumptions are challenged.