“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