I did not plan to be an art student. I did not take classes in high school; a year ago I was studying business. I do not work well with my hands and I do not feel comfortable in galleries. Intellectually, art is the hardest thing I have ever done. Perhaps that is evidence of its importance. There are things within me that cannot be expressed in words, and there are ways of being that do not arise spontaneously or from passivity. Studying art, I have begun to learn about the wordless part of life, about the relationship between colors and forms and the effect of a composition on a viewer. Overt technical prowess is no indicator of quality; what matters is what a work does. The composition can be the beginning of a kind of conversation, an act of compassion, an expression of empathy. If art has the potential to contribute to human well-being, to inspire inner transformation that leads to wholeness and compassion, then I want to study art. I hope my studies will not simply enable me to pursue a career but will become a part of who I am, changing how I think and teaching me to act in ways that contribute to the healing of the world.