Discovering your white star

There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.

Sam’s white star illuminates the world around him. We all have something that brightens from without and within, when the world around us is like Mordor. Love. God. Beauty. Joy. Whatever. We all have one.

Our values are what put us in contact with our white star as often as possible. We all want to be in touch with “light and high beauty,” and we are all on a journey. As you think about your personal statement, also think about your white star. What makes you feel peace, hope, and meaning? What principles or codes put you in touch with your white star as often as possible?

Your values are the principles that help guide your behavior, what you choose to do. Samwise Gamgee’s values, for example, were friendship, loyalty, and determination. They were strong enough to keep him faithful to Frodo, even to the fires of Mount Doom. And they made for an incredible part of one the most epic stories. If Sam were to write a personal statement, he would benefit by thinking of his values, his code, and how the moments in his life were shaped by his values, and how his values shaped the moments of his life.

Our values guide our actions, and our actions are guided by our values. Get in touch with your white star and how it defines your values. This is a great place to start any narrative about your life. It’s so much more important than your online profile, which is only a dim and polished reflection of your white star and your values. Your values will last much longer than the trends and fads of the day. 


  1. What is your “white star”? Describe it in a few sentences.
  2. What keeps you in touch with your white star? Describe your behaviors.
  3. How are these behaviors related to your values?

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