The Indian poet Kalidasa once wrote a poem calling the reader to make the most out of each day. When I was a child, I really didn’t know what Kalidasa meant. I didn’t realize then what all the fuss carpe diem was about. But that was when I was a child – one who did not live long enough to look back into the past and appreciate what it has done for the present.

Now that I’m a bit “wiser”, I realize how much more valuable today is. One of the things I learned about this summer, Investing 101, was the time value of money. One can make wealth grow through the power of compound interest, which is a fancy term for describing a snowball made of money going down a money slope.

Putting the concept of interest into the context of life, I realized how an action today is an action tomorrow. It’s not a consequence per se, but something we can tick off on our life’s development.

As many of us have come to know as we travel through life, we first learn how to crawl before we walk, and we first learn how to walk before we run. So it is with life. It proceeds like the rungs of a ladder, going up with each milestone we reach.

Sounds simple enough, but the necessary way to get to the next milestone of life is to act. The people I’ve known who are successful did not just dream their dreams into reality – they rolled their sleeves and dug deep into the dirt. They planted seeds in their youth, which have grown into mighty trees that bear much fruit.

As I go into another year of Medicine, I realize that much is to be planted. The strange thing about Medicine is that as one goes up the rung, it gets “easier” – the caveat is that one should have planted the seeds of knowledge already. If not, there’s a lot of catchup to do. (If my child in the future reads this, please do your homework now. And listen to your mother.)

We act because we can. We can because we prevail.

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