My hands may be SMALL, but my ideas are BIG


What Inspires You? Number II: Guest Post by Akhila Kolisetty

Here is my second guest post in the What Inspires You? series. I'm proud to present my new found friend, Akhila Kolisett, an enthusiastic Generation Y blogger, passionate about law, political science and social change.

Akhila Kolisett

Bio: Akhila is a 19 year old (soon to be 20!) undergraduate student at Northwestern University. She’s majoring in political science and economics, and hopes to eventually go to law school. She’s currently studying abroad for the year at the London School of Economics and absolutely loves London. She loves poetry, writing, chocolate, social media, political science and law, deep discussions, and learning about the world.

Blog: Justice For All Twitter: @freestallion

I started writing poetry at the age of 12 or so, after reading the autobiography of Bengali poet and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, given to me by my grandfather. My grandfather is incredibly intelligent. He has never left India, yet he has immense knowledge about the entire world. At a young age, I spent hours listening to his fascinating stories about history, science, religion, art, poetry, writing, and visionary leaders. My grandfather was my earliest inspiration. His guidance led me to discover writing and poetry. Since then, I’ve been in love with words. I love the power I have when I’m weaving words into poetry, when I see my haphazard thoughts come together cohesively to form something tangible, beautiful. I love the strength, emotional intensity, and symbolic depth that poems can convey.

To me, poetry is the ultimate expression of oneself. It allows one to put down on paper the abstract aches and longings buried inside – that simply can’t be conveyed through prose. I’ve been writing poetry ever since, and have even been published in a couple of literary magazines.

Since then, my love for writing has led me to be a reporter for The Daily Northwestern, my university’s newspaper. I loved journalism, but after a while it felt so cold and objective to me. I couldn’t inject my personality, my opinions, or my passions into my articles. And so I stopped after a year, realizing I could never commit to journalism. I’ve also always had blogs, but until a few months ago, they were mostly private and served as online diaries. For the first time, I recently began writing about issues I am passionate about – like human rights – on my public blog, Justice for All. I find blogging more fulfilling than journalism. It allows me to write about topics I care about engagingly and passionately. And at the same time, it’s allowed me to jump headfirst into social media, meeting like minded people and learning so much more about important issues.

Still, I feel like writing doesn’t allow me to make enough of a difference. Rather than simply informing people about the challenges we face, I want to do more. I want to actively do something to change our world. I am inspired by leaders, activists, and organizations that are passionate, talented, and truly innovative. I admire Muhammad Yunus for turning traditional finance on its head and creating a world movement for microfinance, allowing poor people access to loans for the first time. I admire Karen Tse, a lawyer who has started a nonprofit called International Bridges to Justice, which works to end torture in the developing world by training public defenders. I admire NYTimes columnist Nicholas Kristof for bringing to our attention the things that we have to care about: war, famine, genocide, poverty. I’m inspired by organizations like the ACLU, Human Rights First, Equality Now, and Legal Aid who work tirelessly to protect human rights and civil liberties. I believe strongly that law is an effective tool for social change, because it can really empower people. And I want to be a part of this. It is a way to combine my love for writing – since law involves so much writing – with my desire to better the world. And so, I will continue to be inspired by writers but also human rights activists. Someday, I hope to pursue both passions together – and I hope my inspirations will help me forge my path ahead.

Photo Credit(s): moleskinart and With Love & Such

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