Meaning of Life: Kennedy O’Connor


Photo by Abril Salinas

Q: How are you?

A: Good! Its really nice out today so I’m excited

Q: Name?

A: Kennedy O’Connor

Q: Age?

A: 16

Q: Grade?

A: Junior

Q: What is the first thing you thought about this morning?

A: How tired I was since I woke up at 4:45 for a field trip

Q: What’s your favorite book/movie?

A: Hidden Figures and The Help are my two favorite movies

Q: Why did it speak to you so much?

A: They were so inspiring and empowering and The Help is something I watched with my mom as a kid so I have good memories with it

Q: What’s an ideal weekend for you?

A:  I’m very busy so just being able to hang out with friends and relax is ideal

Q: Are you confrontational?

A: Yes, even as a toddler my mom said I was never afraid to stand up for myself when someone pushed me down.

Q: What are you most thankful for?

A: The fact that I’m able to be a part of such great communities and groups of people that love and support me.

Q: What’s the one thing most people misunderstand about you?

A: Many people assume that since I love to argue and debate that I’m closed-minded and don’t value other people’s perspective

Q: What’s your idea of a perfect vacation?

A: Going out and spending a week in my grandparent’s cabin on the side of a mountain

Q: When have you felt your biggest adrenaline rush?

A: Riding a rollercoaster for the first time

Q: Would you do it again?

A: Depends on the rollercoaster, I’m kind of a wimp.

Q: If you had 3 wishes what would you wish for?

A: I would wish to have enough money to make sure my family could live comfortably, for my car to not vibrate when I try to drive faster than 45 mph, and for like ten more cats.

Q: What’s your life’s philosophy?

A: When one door closes another one opens. It may open and hit you in the face, but it will open.

Q: Do you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert?

A: Extrovert. I love meeting new people.

Q: What was the best “phase” in your life

A: Whichever phase I’m currently in. I finally have found where I am happy and have learned so much about myself over the past year.

Q: What makes you feel accomplished?

A: When I know I changed something. It could be small, but I still left some mark on the world.

Q: What’s your biggest regret in life?

A: Putting others before me.

Q: What do you think about when by yourself?

A: Lots of things. Usually about things that happened during the day like conversations I had and things I learned.

Q: What does happiness mean to you?

A: Happiness is being in the moment and knowing that you wouldn’t rather be anywhere else

Q: What are some things that give you peace of mind?

A: Knowing that I have nothing else I have to do other than being in the moment. I don’t have anything to work on or worry about.

Q: What makes it so hard for us to break away from things/people we care about?

A: The worry that you’ll regret it and never be able to get it/them back.

Q: What are some things you are scared of losing?

A: The people I love.

Q: Where do you think you will be 10 years from now?

A: College, hopefully.

Q: Do you think you need to be able to see in order to create art?

A: No. I believe art is the ability to make someone feel something and have an impact on them. Music is a great example of art you don’t need to see to create.

Q: Why did people start believing in God, and whose God should we believe in?

A: People started believing in God and other deities because there were questions people couldn’t find answers to. We should believe in whichever being gives us peace of mind and makes us empowered to be the best people we can be.

Q: Do you think the human race is always getting smarter?

A: Yes and no. Yes because we are acquiring new information and no because being able to use modern technology or having modern ideals does not make you superior to people who don’t.

Q: Why don’t we have a global language?

A: Because languages have been built for centuries separate from each other, so even if for some reason every culture was okay with letting go of it’s language and the history tied to it they would be impossibly hard to teach and coordinate and translate.

Q: Can you have religious faith without believing in God?

A: Yes. I actually believe in some higher being or deity, but I’m not sure if I necessarily believe in God.

Q: Do we have souls?

A: Yes.

Q: What happens when we die?

A: I’m not sure, but I know there is something because of experiences I have had.

Q: Is there an afterlife?

A: Yes.

Q: What is insanity?

A: Insanity is not being able to comprehend the world around you properly

Q: What is reality?

A: Reality is what you experience consciously.

Q: As a child/ back in your younger days, what experiences were the most memorable?

A: Memories of seeing new places usually stick with me most. Something about experiencing a new environment for the first time has always been memorable for me.

Q: Who is your idol, why do you admire that person?

A: My dance teacher Catie Deitz-Griffith is my idol. She is incredibly understanding and tries her hardest to make us not only amazing dancers but also amazing people. She’s always been my mentor and I hope to be as wonderful as her one day.

Q: What are your core values and beliefs?

A: I believe that unless your intentions are to bring harm to someone or something, you should be free to do what makes you happy without shame.

Q: What causes are near and dear to your heart? Why?

A: Causes that help rebuild and rejuvenate environments and communities are important to me. Where you come from has a big impact on the beginning of your life and I think everyone deserves a good neighborhood to grow up in.

Q: What does a legacy mean to you?

A: A legacy is what you leave behind, no matter how large or small.

Q: What is true about yourself today that would make your eight-year-old self cry of happiness?

A: I’m finally dating the boy I had a crush on in third grade.

Q: What is true about yourself today that would make your eight-year-old self happy?

A: They still sell my favorite ice cream at the shop in middle-of-nowhere Idaho

Q:  If you had a chance to save the world how would you save it?

A: By making everyone realize that we all deserve basic human rights.

Q: If you knew you were going to die on year from today, what would you do?

A: Live life as I do now, but maybe I would take more risks knowing that I didn’t have much to lose.

Q: How would you want to be remembered?

A: I do not want to be mourned, I want to be fondly remembered and celebrated. I don’t want my death to cause others pain.

Q: What is one thing you want to do before you die?

A: Spend a period of a time on vacation in a country by myself.

Q: Why do you think we are so focused on finding the meaning of life?

A: We are so used to being told how to complete tasks, and life is another one of them. People try to find a meaning so they know what they need to get done before they die.

Q: What is your meaning of life?

A: To leave good behind. No matter how significant or insignificant.