Imagine a scenario. You are invited to a graduation party tonight. You look in the mirror and are complacent with your appearance. You smile, and as your shoes gleam, you walk out of your apartment toward the Marriott hotel. Once you arrive at the party, you grab some appetizers and strike up random conversations with people who are nearby. You mingle throughout the night.
After the party is over, you walk toward the beautifully decorated hotel lobby. You sit to relish the moment, and rest, as your eyes fall on a magazine. You casually grab it and sift through it. It’s this magazine you are holding in your hands. Suddenly a name strikes you, but you consider it a coincidence and pass it by. But then another, and another. Wait a minute, you think, some of these stories are on the people you just met at the party? The names match and the people in these photos look just like the guests! You read a few of the stories. You take a moment as you think this through. You were briefly introduced to each person, but had no idea they’ve had such stories – or rather experiences – in their lives. In fact you had made your own judgments about them – whether good or bad – after a superficial conversation, but suddenly those judgments dissipate into oblivion. You’re humbled by the depth of their stories. You ponder their struggles, their dreams, and their bravery to share their stories.
It was a privilege to be the editor in chief of a magazine that has stories that delve into the human soul – much more than what most people get exposed to in their daily relationships. The real struggles, aspirations and drive that is inherent within a human being has a voice here, and it’s raw. Some stories take you through the dark corners of life, whether it’s been abuse and betrayal, the clinging grasp of alcohol and drug addiction or the abyss of suicidal tendencies. And then you’ll see the working of faith, sheer human will and even luck.
These stories might remind you to never give up, stand up for yourself, believe in your dreams or simply appreciate what you have. You may cry, you may laugh, but above all, most of the stories will make you feel satisfied that life finally turned out well for the people who deserved it. It’s not to say the subjects of some stories meet nature’s cruel fate, because between the lines there is true love, faith, determination, and hard work; and these are enough to carry people through dark days and even make them sing on the way.
I am very proud of the wonderful and hardworking editors, designers, website team, and advisers who have made this magazine possible. I hope you find this magazine a joy to read, and above all learn something about the human spirit.