Reflection on “The Promise of a Pencil” by Adam Braun
When I first came to the US, I had such a fixed view on College due to my cultural background. I always thought of it as a place dedicated only to studies which would lead to a well-paid job and a happy life. My view of college was so particular that It kept me narrowly minded until I found “Promise of a Pencil. Adam’s experience helped me realize that College isn’t what I thought it was. Instead, he showed me that it is about finding yourself and your true happiness.
Within the first few hours of my orientation here at FIU, I was told that all incoming freshmen had to read a book and write a reflection essay on it. At first, I wasn’t too excited about this idea because reading isn’t one of my favorite activities and writing even less; However, the book summary was really intriguing and adventurous that I decided to give it a try right away. As I was reading “Promise of a Pencil”, I realized that there was something special about this book, it had powerful pieces of advice that can orient my life to the highest good.
Adam had a successful surrounding, his parents were dentists and orthodontist, his mind was set on working in finance and becoming a millionaire. However, after meeting two boys that moved from Africa, His life started shaping differently; these boys were an eye opener to him. As they shared their story with Adam and how everything was taken away from their family, what enabled them to live were the strength of their willpower, the help of others and commitment to education. As He listened to them and their stories, he realized that hey demonstrated willpower and a hunger for education in abundance, that they just needed a little bit of help. He put himself in their situation and realized that he would’ve been the one in need, then he understood that there were a bunch of others as well in need, in hunger physically and educationally. Since that moment he became less selfish and He decided to place those in need before himself. One powerful lesson here for me is that we need to help others just as we would want to get help if we were ever in need.
Through his journey in college, Adam went through so much personal change, for example, he gave up on basketball to explore his spirituality and faith. All these new experiences in college and exploration are what led him to spend time abroad. When he traveled, he understood really what it was like on the other side of the world and developed feelings of guilt. He felt that he owed something to the less fortunate. As Adam traveled places to places, he realized that some of the child’s dream was to have something that we took for granted every single day, “A pencil”. This is how the idea of the book came about and what made the story very...