Saturday, January 4, 2014

My Last Blog Post Before School Starts Again (Or how to not feel sorry for yourself)

I recently stumbled upon my friend Ashley's blog, and found this amazing post right here: She is one of those incredible people who always has a kind or encouraging word, especially when you're not feeling so great. Like everyone else on this planet, I can feel worthless, directionless, or unimportant. Especially if I have failed at something, gone through a breakup, made a mistake, or received a parking ticket. What I liked so much about this post of hers is that it implies something proactive. Yes, we are all unique and beautiful. But we can be so much more, and that is through the impact we make on the world.

Her post posits the central question of "what would the world be like if you weren't here?". I can definitively say in the case of everyone I know, a much darker place. So, you spent the day in your snuggie onsie watching episodes of Vampire Diaries on netflix? You can go out there right now and change the world. Most of us will never be famous beyond our own little group of friends. So what? Think back on those you love the most, who have made the most impact on your life. Are their names Kim Kardashian or Kanye West? Probably not.

I've had friends ask me before why I am becoming an Occupational Therapist. Apart from the more selfish things like financial security and benefits typically associated with that career, I have always wanted to do something to genuinely improve the lives of others. Because sitting around in my snuggie onsie watching hours of netflix only feels great for about 2 hours. But that is an almost easy way out for me. It doesn't really matter what our career is. You can make a difference as a bagger at Wal Mart. You can genuinely improve the lives of others by being a good mother or a father.

At the risk of pontificating, I just want to say that we can choose to leave a positive mark at any point. It doesn't matter if you have never done a kind thing in your life or slaughtered a village of people (please, please don't do that); any living person can make the choice to make a difference in a good way at any time. What's a more hopeful thing than that?

I promise that whatever your life may be like, it is worth so much. The most incredible people I've ever known are those who lose themselves in the service of others. I am far too selfish and lazy to ever reach their standard, but I can say that the times I have felt best were the times I was helping someone. Kindness goes a long way. No matter how low you're feeling, no matter how you may have been wronged, you will always feel best when you are considerate and compassionate. Unless you are a sociopath. But, then that's not really your fault is it?

Treat others with love and over time you will love them and yourself. It's just that simple. Don't let people take advantage of you (because sometimes they will), but don't ever let yourself hate either. As we start this new year and new semester (for some of us), we can choose to be our best selves. And if we fall short, just try again.