Do you ever think that we think about ourselves too much? That maybe we are, deep down, more controlled by our id than by our soul? And that maybe, in the grand scheme of things, nothing we do for yourselves will really matter?
I spent some time in my life (not much, seeing as I am still very young), but some time being completely dedicated to others. For a 2 years and 4 days, I lived, ate, breathed, and cried over the needs of others, to the exclusion of all else. I watched as peoples homes were burnt to the ground, then stepped in with a shovel to sift through the ashes and a shoulder to cry on. I sat on the dirt floor of hovels that didn’t seem like they could possibly belong in America, listening to the tales of woe offered up by the poor souls who called that hovel a home, and offering them the only thing I had: a hope in the divine. I couldn’t offer them money; I had none. I couldn’t offer them a job; I myself was unemployed. But I knew that there were more important things, and so that is what I offered them.
Then I came back to the real world, and was told to start taking care of myself: Go to school, get a job, find a wife, they said. Be successful, keep the faith, make fat babies, they said. And so here I sit, making myself miserable trying to worry about someone who doesn’t matter to me too much, and who honestly needs nothing from me, thereby garnering no satisfaction.
I bring this up, not to blow my own horn, but to mention the lesson I learned: worrying about yourself sucks the happiness out of life. If all you ever do is worry about you, if all your ever plan for is things for yourself, you end up spiraling inward, convoluting like a snake eating itself until you are stuck with nowhere to go, and with no way to satisfy that inner hunger for... Something more.
So I have decided to quit. My life is relatively in order. I am in school, am working to pay for it, and am working on perfecting my craft. And so I leave it at that. How would the world be if everyone only worried about themselves? How would my life be if I had only ever worried about me?
So I offer this up to everyone who never reads this blog anyways: I am here to help. I want to help, even need to. And I suggest you do the same. Instead of lengthy lists of things we want, or things that we are grateful for, in order to assuage our latent guilt for being selfish, lets keep a private list, a list of the people that we have lifted up, and the things we have done to improve the lives of those around us.
A dear friend of mine submits that everyone is miserable, and we are all just hiding it. And he further declares that this misery is what defines us, and the hiding of it that makes us happy. Maybe he is right. I don’t know. But I think that this is a solution. If we stop living through ourselves, and start living for others, that misery can be replaced.
End of rant.