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

I am living the life of a five year old girl I have never met. A stranger I imagine. She has pigtails, is dirty, poor, and is busy fetching water in the slums of India.

A bicycle rushes past me and I awake to find myself well-dressed, crossing the Charles River. Experiencing an icy breeze and Harvard's beautiful white steeples.

My life...

I hope my life will embody the multiplier effect, which, in economics, occurs when a dollar in spending has a disproportionate effect on aggregate demand. Instead of mere spending, I hope to infuse society with effort, opportunities, and the goodwill I have received as the first-generation daughter of Indian immigrants.

The jobs, life-improving consumer products, and educational opportunities I produce should enable others to do even more. Suppose I create twelve jobs, and one employs a loving father, who can finally send three children to college, who each impact four friends, who each help dozens by becoming teachers, doctors...

Imagine the potential for impact…

I will also use a simple smile - or a hearty laugh - to spread happiness everyday. After all, laughter also multiplies with reverberating effect.

Whenever I remember my life is one and precious I am happy and grateful. Remembering what I have been given, I will do my best, try to leave a mark, and be happy.

— Monica Gupta Adractas