What I Did (Once I knew)

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Last night, someone shared this on facebook:

And as I waited for the bus this morning, I wanted to give it an honest answer. I really liked how I said it the first time but I didn’t have paper or anything like that. I’ll try to rewrite it word for word though. Here it is:

To my great great great grandkids, y’know, if you ever come to exist,

I’m waiting for a bus at the train station. It’s kinda late, the bus I’m waiting for. I missed 2 buses this morning, one because I was late, another because it came too early.

There’s a kid beside me, dancing. I think to myself, “Isn’t there anything expressive that I can do at this bus stop?” So I start to think of a song. I think, “Maybe I could write if I had something to write on, or play a song if I had an instrument,” but I don’t, so I just think of a song in my head.

I know that there are a lot of things wrong with the world but I’m not out in the streets, protesting or fighting injustice. I’m going to school.

I’m going to school because I believe that it’s good for me and it will get me the things I want or need in life. I take care of myself first because noone else really will. I know things about myself that noone else knows so it’s my responsibility to make sure I get what I need. I think it’s everyone’s responsibility to know themself and make sure they get what they need (not at the expense of others, of course).

Once I take care of myself and once I’m (at least halfway to) happy, I can start to take care of others. Once I have (closer to) nothing to worry about, I’ll be better equipped and more motivated to help other people.

Looking back at it now, I seem very selfish in saying what I did. But I don’t think I’m wrong; I still believe what I said then, mostly. I guess it needs a little explaination though.

I think that we’re responsible for ourselves. The world can influence us; it can get in our way or help us along but ultimately, we need to think of ourselves first. (Or maybe not first. I’ll talk about priorities later.) We are given the more opportunity to know ourselves than other people are given, obviously, because we’re with ourselves all the time. We know our own thoughts. We know what we feel and what we think about our lives so we know when we don’t feel satisfied.

We need to mind ourself and make sure we’re okay because noone else can know as well as we do when we’re not doing fine. This doesn’t mean that we can’t ask for help or that we should always be capable of fixing our own problems. But we’re responsible for asking for help, then, or learning how to help things along.

Some people aren’t as keen to themselves as others. And some people just don’t have the time to think of anything but how to get their next meal. But we still have to take care of ourselves, because not many people go around asking “Are you really okay?”

Anywho, part of knowing yourself is knowing what you’re good at and what you’re interested in. Generally, this is what I tell people when they ask me how to find out what they should do in life:

Solve the problem you want to solve or help the people you want to help by doing something you’re good at and enjoy.

So unless you’re the kind of person who only dreams of piles of money and a comfortable life, knowing yourself is the greatest thing you can do to help others.

I think I already got the message across but I forgot to put evidence in a Social Studies essay I recently wrote so I’ll make up for it by giving evidence here. This part is personal. Most people will find it uninteresting.

I once tried to help people I cared for through doing something I think I’m good at. The problem was apathy throughout the population of my highschool (still is a problem) and I was going to fix it by persuading passionate, leader-like people in the school to start clubs and share their passion with other students. In this way, people could be introduced to new (or forgotten) interests. It also helped the problem of how many kids were sitting alone at lunch or break. Clubs would give the place a better sense of community.

Clubs would’ve solved so many problems ._. (At least, I speculated that they would.)

I cared about this problem because of what happened to me involving my horrible attendance record. I was bored and didn’t really care about school because I didn’t know what I wanted in life. This made it hard to do well, because, “Meh, what’s it even worth? I don’t need to go to school (for these certain classes). I don’t need to know any of this.” (Please don’t scold me for not respecting knowledge because I do. The classes I’m referring to involved quantum physics, pre-calculus, organic chemistry, etc. Not fun unless interested.)

I thought that, though I was an extreme case, the students at my school were terrible because they didn’t have anything to care about. They had no real culture (which I saw as very boring). I used to look down on the kind of people who couldn’t motivate themselves enough to show up or do work but I was one of those people, and it sucked more to be that person than it did to be around to be around them.

Long story short: The plan didn’t work because I never went to school. I never went to school because I was unmotivated. I couldn’t help other people because I needed help as well.

Noone knew I needed help because I was a good liar. I even lied to myself.

And there’s my evidence. Unless you’ve helped yourself, it’s hard to help other people. Of course, you can do the little things. The little things always help. But you can’t do big things unless you’re sound in the head and only you know when you’re fine.

Do you great great great grandchildren understand yet? ._.

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