Who am I? And what can I offer to the world?

Por Marcelhe Preza de Oliveira


Today, inner emptiness is one of the most recurrent feelings present in our society. The WHO (World Health Organization) portrays the growth of emotional diseases, and every 40 seconds, a person commits suicide. Most of the time, emotional illnesses develop for several reasons, and one of them is inner emptiness and the lack of meaning in life. Most of us have already asked ourselves or will still ask ourselves, “What is the meaning of life?”

I really like to reflect on life and its mysteries through the writings of Ellen White. In her book The Science of Good Living, we find timeless concepts and advice that help us deal with emotions and personal questioning: “grief, anxiety, discontent, remorse, guilt, distrust, all tend to consume the vital forces and invite decay and death.” – A Ciência do Bom Viver (1905, 2010 p. 24; free translation)

When we reflect on emotional aspects, we tend to look for meaning in the things we are offered or in the lack of them? However, instead of asking what we lack, why do we not reflect on what we can offer the world? 

In the following, I would like to argue this concept of meaning based on my experiences with education and simultaneously related to emotional aspects. 

In my childhood, I had difficulties at school due to offenses and bullying – acts and behaviors of a specific teacher, who made me feel bad because I was always the last one to do the exercises in class and was a shy girl. I felt that I did not belong there. Of course, these events back then made me ask the following question many times in adolescence: “who am I?” Bad thoughts and feelings used to overtake me. 

Nevertheless, when we consider the importance that the discourses and thoughts carry, we can reflect on who we are and what we can offer to the world and, consequently, find an answer to the meaning of life. This becomes very clear when we read the following statement by Ellen G. White: 

Many thoughts make up the unwritten story of a single day, and these thoughts have much to do with the formation of character. Our thoughts must be strictly guarded; for an impure thought makes a deep impression on the soul. A lousy thought leaves a bad impression on the spirit. If thoughts are pure and holy, a man is made better by having nurtured them. Through them, the spiritual pulse is enlivened, which, in turn, increases the human capacity to do good. As one raindrop prepares the way for another in moistening the soil, so one good thought prepares the way for another. (Mensagens aos jovens, 1930, 2004, p. 144; free translation)

In other words, we are able to shape who we are and who we would like to be, we can make good thoughts bridges, which allow us to cross over the inner emptiness, the bad feelings, and the adversities of life. Thus, we can give purpose and meaning to what we are going to offer the world.

I bring these concepts and questions to my English teaching experience. As a teacher, I realize that we are a result of what we have nurtured along our journey. My search for the meaning of life is directly linked to who I am in the classroom and who I want to be. 

In conclusion, when I think about the meaning and importance that the act of teaching carries, I feel very grateful for giving positive meaning to my past experiences at school. To be a teacher is without a doubt to be persevering and to choose to offer the world the best of oneself. 


White, Ellen Gould. Ciência do Bem Viver. Ellen G. White Estate, Inc. E-book: 2010. Available from https://egwwritings.org/?module=onlinebooks&params=(pubnr:’11255′,submodule:’singleBookView’,categories:[‘109_118’,”],filters:[[‘popular_languages’,’Portuguese’,’English’]],page:1,hits:20)

_______.  Mensagem Aos Jovens. Ellen G. White Estate, Inc: 1930, 2004. E-book: 2010. Available from https://egwwritings.org/?module=onlinebooks&params=(pubnr:’1951′,submodule:’singleBookView’,categories:[‘109_117’,”],filters:[[‘popular_languages’,’Portuguese’,’English’]],page:1,hits:20) 

Hello, my name is Marcelhe Preza de Oliveira. I am a student of Additional Languages at Unipampa – campus Bagé. I am passionate about art and teaching. A great goal is to be able to look back and realize that what I have become is a mosaic of learning experiences. My email address is marcelhepreza7@gmail.com

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