Adjustable difficulty in life and video games

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I kinda hate myself for always starting games on hard instead of normal. It makes for some great experiences, like Metro: Last Light and Far Cry 3. But every so often, I get shit on, like in The Last of Us.

Speaking of getting shit on, what’s been up with me lately? Well, I learned that I can’t handle being altruistic. Yet. I do believe in justice when it comes to interpersonal relationships. I believe in reciprocity. But now, I also know that trying to enforce that kind of justice doesn’t make me happy.

I’ve been very disappointed lately, and I saw two negative ways to react (and one way that’s at least more positive than the other two.) I did someone a favour and it didn’t come back to me. The first negative way to react was to feel terrible about myself and never do things for people again because they don’t value me for it and it makes me feel bad. The second way was to put myself above doing favours for other people because obviously, they don’t have eyes to see how glorious my actions are for their sake.

Both those ways I deem ineffective because I think I’d be very ineffective if I stopped doing favours for people. Both those ways have me stop caring for people, and that’s the last thing I want. If I stopped caring for people, I’d become an underwater welder and I’d buy a hermit-hut and play video games all day and never see anybody. But that’s not the kind of person I want to be. So my friends suggested a third response:

I can be nice to some people, but not so much to others. I’d judge based on whether or not I can handle their shit. I’d still put myself out there, but I’d be filtering the “difficulty level” of the situations that I put myself in. For example, if I could break my back for a person who’d take me to dinner afterwards, but if they’d just scold me for every small mistake afterwards, I will not break my back for them. Yet.

In such a way, I shall protect myself from crippling disappointment yet guard myself from any “superiority complex” that preemptively refraining from all favours might encourage.

I’ve seen that superiority complex go wild. It’s not healthy for the whole at all. That kind of pride is very destructive. Kinda sucks though. If there’s justice then why doesn’t it make us happy to seek it? Why is it such a vain struggle? Jesus said to give up my life for my friends but I don’t see that making me happy. But, as my friends have pointed out, sometimes my sacrifice doesn’t help. Sometimes people need to learn from their mistakes.

When Jesus died, the people around Him must have realized their mistake. They must have known that the blood was on their hands. But if I died, the people around me might just blame me. They’d think I just made a stupid mistake, like I always do. They’d raise an eyebrow or dip a corner of their lips. I can’t give myself up for people like this, I don’t think they’d learn from it. Or maybe it’s me. They wouldn’t learn from me.

I truly hope to build a resilience against this kind of disappointment, though. I want to be nice, I want to give myself up for others. But I don’t want it to bother me when they don’t give me anything back. Guess it adds value to the times when I decide to give anyway, from now on.

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