Many BFU students are in circumstances similar to those Dr. Pereyda experienced as she was growing up.
Dr. Pereyda is originally from Arizona, where she lived in poverty in a community that did not encourage, nor expect, students to succeed. However, a few special teachers encouraged Pereyda. The tenth of eleven children she became the only one of her siblings to graduate from high school.
Throughout college and graduate school, she had to work, take out loans, and apply for scholarships since her parents were unable to help her earn her M.D. A graduate of the University of Michigan School of Medicine with her MD, Dr. Pereyda then matriculated as a specialist in internal medicine at Stanford University. As an MD she oversaw residents working in area free clinics. She has recognized medical training that matches her determination.
For my objectivist friends this is a good place to make a point. You value the power of the individual and their ability to make selfish choices. Your reasoning is if we do what is best for ourselves and those we love, others will also benefit as we create and add value. Let me task you with considering a basic of your value system; in a free market an exchange will not occur unless both parties see a benefit for themselves.
Just as the founders of the United States changed John Locke's "life, liberty, and the pursuit of property" when they inserted it into the Declaration of Independence to an equally Lockeian "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," it would be well to recognize that not all benefits derived from a fair trade involve property. A great benefit within volunteering and charity is the sweet taste of giving. To those that have experienced it in large doses, non-coerced giving can be a tremendous pleasure that brings enormous satisfaction. And it helps others.
A bright and intelligent woman, Dr. Pereyda has become an excellent doctor. Working in The OC, an area largely given over to the pursuit of wealth, she has instead dedicated her considerable skills to helping others. The recipients of her kind ministries are not only society's hidden down-and-outers, but up-and-outers that slipped through the cracks after medical problems and layoffs. Struggling Internet entrepreneurs and former Fortune 500 executives that have had reversals sit next to injured migrant workers in the Share Our Selves waiting room.
Here are the main points:
- As Dr. Pereyda has demonstrated -- with determination you can succeed; hard work, determination, and a set goal. To these she has chosen to add compassion.
- Not all find their happiness in acquisition - perhaps service, support, and volunteering may help you achieve your own brand of personally fulfilling success. You need not limit pleasures to be derived from extensive charity.
- As an individual you can make a difference. No matter where or when you start, it is your subsequent direction of travel that will be most important.
Dr. Margarita Pereyda is an inspiration on many levels; as an overcomer, a scholar, and a dedicated giver. What do you want to do with your life?