“What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Sometimes I forget to breathe. My parents used to laugh when, as a defiant youngster, my crying fits often led me to near hyperventilation. "Keep breathing, honey..." they'd remind me. But the first time I heard Mahler's 5th, it was a different kind of breathlessness.
Have you ever experienced a moment of such beauty, such power and exhilaration that, for an instant, the whole world stopped?
Five years ago, I found myself seated beside an older gentleman at an opera. As I watched him soak in the singers' final notes — gripping the armrests, tears streaming down his wrinkled cheeks — I was captivated by his raw feeling.
As a child, my fascination was in watching my father watch basketball. When Christian Laettner made Duke's now famous game winning shot against Kentucky, my father's wild yelp and subsequent aerial launch (from the couch to topple me on the floor below) was more exciting to me than the game itself.
I've tiptoed through life as an interloper, longing for a quick glimpse into others' most intimate, most awe-inspiring moments. Now, I plan to spend my life helping to create these moments for others. I want to enable artists and athletes, pastors and poets to awaken souls.
I want to take you away from the banality of day to day life, the dull florescent lights and mundane conference calls. I want you to holler and guffaw, tear up and squeal; I want to see you enlivened.
Just don't forget to keep breathing.
— Meredith Cantrell
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, "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
Boston, MA 02163