I am not someone who believes in miracles, but I don’t know how else to explain my first segue into what I now know and love as my Daniels Ethics Fellows class. Last Fall, I was going through a particularly low point in my life. I was navigating some difficult choices and I was depressed and disappointed, when all of a sudden, my phone rang. It was my friend inviting me to a talk by her professor as part of some class she was taking. She was required to bring at least three friends and since I did not have anything else going on that day, I agreed.
The only things I remember from that talk are Professor Corey Ciochetti’s questions, ‘Would you consider yourself authentically happy?’ and if not ‘What are you chasing?’
For the first time in my life, I was confronted with that question. What was I chasing? I realized soon enough that most of my pain and depression stemmed from the fact that I was chasing the wrong rabbits all along. I was so caught up in my own little world trying to be something, do something, make something, that I had forgotten how to stop and wonder at the profound, how to take in the small joys, how to get goosebumps, and how to laugh at myself. This was no way to live. And so, I joined the very next class of Daniels Ethics Fellows. I wanted to learn how to be my best self.
Working with Professor Ciocchetti and all my classmates, I learned important lessons on responsibility, on integrity, on transparency and on being fair and just. But most of all, I learned to make friends like never before. I learned to let people in, to be vulnerable, to be real, to be genuine and to admit when I made mistakes. I learned to treat myself with the same empathy I offered others and to be kind to my struggles. I learned to lend a helping hand to everyone who needed one even when they were reluctant to ask. I learned to fully embrace my being and the world around it. I began chasing real rabbits.
Now as a Fellows II (a second time Fellow), I can confidently say that the day I joined the Fellows program was one of the best in my college career. It made me who I am today. And that is precisely why an event (or now, a web compendium) like this one is very important and personal to me. We never know what that tiny, little mystery catalyst standing between us and true greatness is. Classes like this one, like Ethics in a Modern World, if anything, are the perfect avenues to explore those very opportunities, to seek out those very catalysts and to embark on those very journeys, because believe it or not, your best self is truly only a few steps away.
I want everyone to have that same privilege of opportunity as I did to be that best self. I know it sounds too ambitious, but I assure you the results are nothing short of a miracle. Trust me, you don’t have to believe in magic to experience a miracle. You are the miracle. All you got to do is unearth it.
About the Author:
Hridith Sudev is a second-year student of Biological Sciences and Public Policy at the University of Denver. He is a patent-pending scientist, aspiring healthcare practitioner, published writer, poet and public speaker who divides his time between Denver-CO, Salalah-Oman, and Kerala-India. He is also attaining minors in Leadership and Human Health Policy while being a Daniels College of Business Ethics Fellow and a member of the Pioneer Leadership Program. His favorite aspect about ethics is applying integrity and building trust in multifarious stakeholder relationships. A self-described comic book nerd, Sudev enjoys reading, travelling, having laid back evenings with his dogs, exploring the Great Outdoors and having impromptu BBQs.