“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I was a 17-year old Ayn Rand devotee. The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, Anthem — I couldn't trumpet loudly enough Rand's message of individualism and self-determination.
That 17-year-old self wouldn't know what to make of me now. Maybe it was coming of professional age during the recession, at a moment of extreme income inequality, when the "have-nots" suffered disproportionately because of the actions of the "haves". Maybe it was working to develop savings instruments for lower-income communities during an internship or partnering with a financial counseling program for an independent study. Maybe it was confronting some of my own personal failings.
Apologies to Howard Roark, but good does not always come to hard-working people; weakness is not tantamount to moral failure.
I want to treat struggle with compassion. I want to create the conditions for those who have fallen to get back up — to save, to build assets responsibly, to obtain the basic tools for upward mobility.
Ayn Rand might say I've gone soft. I say thank goodness.
— Kaelin Goulet
Each year we ask our classmates a straightforward, simple question taken from the lines of a poem by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Mary Oliver.
We share with you intimate and candid responses to this question, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
Concept and photography:
Tony Deifell, MBA '02
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Harvard Business SchoolDillon HouseSoldiers Field
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