Written by Micah Xu, Converge multimedia journalism intern and Junior at Gwinnett School of Math, Science & Technology (GSMST)
Throughout life, sometimes we meet people that inspire us because of their works. Sometimes we see what they can do and we are impressed by their capacity to do whatever it is that we admire. It is the reason we might admire an athlete, because we can see how they have trained their bodies to the point of near perfection.
That is not why I admire Jason Mercedes. I admire him not because of what he does, but because of his traits. He is not particularly well known, nor is he famous, but he is just a person trying his best to make things work. He is just an average person who is not trying to change the world, just provide for those around him.
He isn’t paragon, that’s for certain, but even if he isn’t a paragon, that doesn’t make him “bad.” When asked about what he thinks of the world, he has this to say: “I’m just a perfectly average person. I don’t really care about the grander state of things because I know that I cannot comprehend it in its entirety, at least not yet.”
He is also somebody who has displayed, countless times, his sheer willpower and determination to do what he wants to do regardless of what other people say or put on him. He is contrarian, but not just for the sake of being contrarian, he has beliefs and will stick to them unless he, and nobody else, decides to change them. That is something that, even if I cannot say I would do myself, is admirable in its own right. When asked about this sort of thing, he responded with: “I won’t change what I am doing just because you tell me to, and if I decide to change, it is not because you told me to, it’s because I want to.”
Overall, his stubbornness and down-to-earth values are what make him interesting and fun to talk to, and I think that if there is anything I can learn from him, it’s the value of sticking to your beliefs.
After all, beliefs are the directions of people’s lives.