Week 3

During week three, we focussed on strengthening our team chemistry. On coming to class, we were told to bring in three items that described who we are that we could share with our teams–the catch, however, was that these three items had to fit in a paper bag. When I thought about the minuteness of a paper bag, I realized that to accomplish the task, I would have to get a little creative. For my three items, I chose a bible, an eraser shaped as a brain and ancient Chinese bruise ointment (that I just happened to buy online a couple of years ago). Although, religion is very important to me, I used the bible as more as a symbol. For this assignment, the bible represented beliefs. In this live, I feel it is important to believe in something: people must believe in their existence and purpose (through a God perhaps but not necesarily), people must believe in their actions (and everything they do) and most importantly, people must believe in themselves. For the brain, I used it as a symbol for knowledge. Knowledge when paired with beliefs are very powerful. With knowledge, one has understanding and control over their environment. Lastly, I chose this chinese ointment. Perhaps, my chosing of this seems the most bizarre, but it too had importance. When I bought this ointment a long time ago, I learned that Iron fist monks used this ointment after training to heal their bruises. These were the monks that were able to do seemingly impossible feats: they broke metal on their body, they bent spears with their throats and balanceed on sharp prongs with their abs. These people through their training made their bodies seemingly undefeatble. When one sees these monks doing these incredulous tasks, it is inspiring. And so, this ointment reminds me that with dedication, I can achieve anything I want; anything is possible.


  1. Fantastic post, Derek! I like how you chose symbolic, rather than literal, items for the brown paper bag exercise. Knowledge, strong beliefs and dedication – all key ingredients in successful philanthropy!

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