It's OK to not have all the answers/Stay kind and loving
This journal entry from January 15, 2014 was inspired by a conversation with an old friend whose pessimism and cynical worldview ended up rubbing off on me. I'm re-learning optimism for my own sanity, and I hope he has learned to look on the bright side as well. It's extremely draining to constantly wonder, "Why is everyone around me so superficial? Why haven't others learned to think for themselves? What makes me so different?"
People don't care to have good character or live their lives with integrity because it doesn't reap any immediate evident benefits. They would rather cheat and lie their way to the top than honestly earn whatever rewards they deserve because they don't take pride in themselves and their ability; all that matters to them is the end prize. The sad thing is, it's become so normal that most of the time, people aren't even aware of their own selfishness. They manipulate to get their way, and it's not that they don't care about who they're hurting, but that they're so self-centered they don't even think about it. They don't think about anything that doesn't have to do with themselves. People have an "if it doesn't concern me, I don't care" mentality. They think it a waste of time to think about other people and the world around them because they earn nothing tangible from it. They only care about what makes them feel good, or what's going to "get them somewhere." When someone dies, we're sad because the person is no longer there to give us what they were once able to. We do favors for others for what we can get in return. When we help others, it's because it makes us feel good. Obviously, you have to be a good person to get pleasure from helping others, but I can't help but wonder how many people would still willingly do it if it meant sacrificing more than just their time or a few dollars.
However, it wouldn't be fair for us to hold this character flaw against people because selfishness is in our nature. If we begin to resent people, our hearts become hardened and it becomes harder to care for others, leading us to only care about ourselves. If that becomes the case, we become like them; and if we become like them, what room do we have to judge? What right do we have to speak as if we are above them? Selfishness is the lack of compassion, so we can only combat it with compassion. Selfishness leads us to the need to feel superior, which leads to insecurity, which leads to toughness, then closing people off, because we are afraid of being vulnerable and being knocked down. But when someone makes us feel comfortable with who we are, and when they give us unconditional love, and when we feel like we are enough for them, that becomes all that matters to us, and we don't feel the need to prove ourselves anymore. And I think that's why love softens you up. It's hard to be selfish when we are loved; love humbles us. It's impossible to show this kind of deep love and appreciation for everyone we meet, but a little bit of compassion can go a long way. Everyone has good in them and is capable of doing good in the world. Some people just need a little push to get them there, but there are less people willing to do the pushing and more people resisting it. We can't become like these people. The human race may be on its way to hell as a whole, but I can't let that stop me from positively affecting any and every individual who lets me.
Maybe what makes us different is that we don't act and think a certain way just because it's in our nature to, and we don't accept everything just because it's the "norm." We question everything and try to find meaning and reason behind it instead of giving in to ourselves so easily. People don't really think about what they're doing, and I try to live my life deliberately. Maybe that's why troubled childhoods create children with depth. All of our time as children is spent learning and trying to make sense of the world around us. When we're exposed to corruption and evils of the world so early and suddenly and when we're so innocent, we can't make sense of it and we can't help but ask "why" to everything and search for answers, and that sticks with us all our lives. Honestly though, we'll never have all the answers for ourselves because so much thinking goes on in the subconscious mind that we're not aware of. But that's what makes life beautiful and exciting, because there'll always be something to search for. How boring and meaningless would our lives be if we had all the answers? Searching for them gives us meaning and reason to live. If we had all the answers, what would we be doing here?