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

“You’re not a real Jew.”
The only other Jewish girl on my middle-school math team scoffed at me.

“You’re not really Indian.”
My Indian classmates excluded me from the annual Indian fashion show, year after year.

“Don’t worry about them – they don’t know who you are. You are someone new and unique.”
My mother soothed my then-thin skin.

In my hometown, my self-assured classmates were cozy with the way things were: straightforward and simple. I was a half-and-half, a hybrid, a newness. An Other.

But my distinct otherness bred curiosity in me, a desire to learn and connect. I integrated my apparently disjointed halves into a stronger whole. Today, I thrive at the confluence of the possibly-impossible: using the left- and right-brain in concert, trying to make something out of nothing (but an idea), doing well by doing good. I feel the presence of a diaspora of kindred spirits: we are the designers and agents of change.

I don’t believe in the status quo.

I believe in the power of the new. I believe entrepreneurs will make a difference in the world. And the world does need to be different. I won’t solve poverty, disease, inequality, climate change, or silence through mimicry.

I will not follow a well-worn path; I will feel my heart thrum with the challenge of charting my own way to improve the lives of others.

— Sonali Bloom