Adam Joseph

Two years ago, when Watkinson began introducing the process of the new senior exhibitions, a lot of people weren’t excited; they thought they didn’t want all this extra work for their senior year. And I’m not going to lie; I thought that too. But, at the same time, I had this feeling: This is gonna be great. Because I’m going to really have the opportunity to dive into something that I’m really interested in. So while I was nervous that this was going to take over my world and it would be hard to do while applying to college, I would still be able to perservere and get through it. I feel, I have always felt, that when you’re learning about something that you love, it doesn’t matter how much time it takes, because it’s just what you want to be doing. So that’s the mindset I went into this whole year with.

My main passion is fighting antisemitism, and I knew I wanted to work with the Anti-Defamation League. It’s something that I really care about; and although I already do it a lot — I really advocate for the Jewish community and I do a lot in fighting hate at Watkinson and beyond — I’ve kind of just done it from a juvenile perspective, of course, because I’m a high school student. I haven’t done it from a professional level, in the actual field, the career, of fighting hate. Doing this project I really was able to get that perspective of what it might be like to genuinely just fight hate for a living, and devote every second of your life so selflessly to doing what you love so passionately and so genuinely and putting your all into it. And I think that word “selfless” has a lot to do with it, because it’s just so important that, when you’re fighting hate, whether I’m doing it for the Jewish community, because I’m also Jewish, or whether I’m doing it for people of color, it has to be selfless. Because it’s not necessarily about you and it shouldn’t be about you, or what other people are going to think because of what you do; it’s because you want to make the world a better place, and you want to create equality and justice for all. So I think I really learned, at a professional level, how to be more selfless and empathetic to other people.

I think that to be selfless, you have to make an effort to bring your whole self into that selflessness. Just like being selfish is bringing your whole self to just caring about things for your benefit instead of the greater good. And it’s about knowing why you’re doing something. I think that’s kind of how everything starts, if you’re going to bring your whole self into it; it’s not rushing into it but instead asking yourself, am I prepared to bring my all into this work? That’s kind of what I did with this project. I had a real talk with myself: Is this something that I’m ready to do? And I think I was, and it took a lot, and I’m really proud of the work that I ended up doing. 

Adam will be attending Bates College.

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