“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

The kitchen was bright and bustling, filled with the smells of my dad’s cooking and the booming voice of my grandfather, a lifelong public servant. The bassinet was in the corner. I walked over to see this new “bundle of joy” for myself. And so my life began, with the memory of meeting my baby sister.

The next three years passed pleasantly, filled with Bob books and park days together. But our parents’ divorce rocked our safe, sweet world. My mom moved us south to be near family. Barely three, my sister was fragile, uncertain where home was for her.

Despite the pain, there were golf cart rides, museum visits with my mom, and countless hours spent on my grandfather’s lap as he recalled tales from his public service days. Mirroring my mom’s strength and my grandfather’s stories, I learned to treat our moves like one grand adventure—new rooms and friends. I wanted to be solid for my sister, a “servant leader” as my grandfather put it. And, over time, my sister grew strong.

Years later, I read a quote that spoke to my soul: “service is the rent we pay for living.” I saw my lived purpose on the page, learned from my family and etched in a life focused on serving my sister and finding joy in this mission.

I will spend my life serving others, just as serving my sister taught me. I will lead with intention, staying true to my core values of empathy, impact, and service to others. And I will live life as a grand adventure, filled with moments that make memories and people that make it matter.

— Auden Laurence