“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
My first car was a cornflower blue 1981 Chevrolet Citation. Free life lesson here, kids: don't ever market a car using a name synonymous with "moving violation." The late, great Citation – she of AM radio, vinyl seats, and a mysterious coolant leak – came with personality to spare. Surrounded by friends with cars better equipped to both impress girls and top 60 mph, I wavered between self-consciousness and an absurd delight in the beast of a car my parents had salvaged just for me.

In retrospect, I recognize in her everything my mother and father did right – prioritizing what truly mattered and shrugging off what didn't, loving us through their actions and not their gifts. Someone ought to give my parents a citation (the other kind) for all the patience and sacrifice shown to such an ungrateful, sarcastic kid. I suppose they will settle for handing me off to my wife, who deserved the best but got me instead. Truly, her faith in me defies explanation. I just know there is no denying her sacrifice and love, and I'm wise enough to be thankful.

So what does any of that have to do with my life? First, stop obsessing over it as my life. After all, the people who matter most to me have given the best of themselves without reservation, immeasurably enriching my life. In a world of overwhelming need, surely I can do no less.

Yet what is one life offered in the effort to ease suffering and reduce poverty? What is one modest career in the face of injustice? What is one humble faith when so many strain to drown out the message of grace? I cannot be certain where the search for answers will lead, but in focusing on the aspirations and lives of everyone around me, I hope I've glimpsed the purpose of the journey.

— Sunru Yong