It’s been going on for two years now, and I never wrote about it because I hate to compare how much I take to how much I give. I miscalculate my blessings always, and I keep counting till the number exceeds a hundred and something. But sometimes, when I think about my blessings, I think about all the bad things that have happened to me, which some like to classify under “curses” whole others choose “lessons” as a title. Regardless of how you see things, and since our entire lives are based on perspectives and relativity, here goes the utmost rant, fresh from the top of my brain, triggered by the one and only nighttime.
So I was out, as usual, with my friends. We decided to drop quickly by one of the pubs our friend works in, and as we walked past the people sitting outside, I glanced at a face I knew, faked a smile and walked into the pub. That face I knew was of a man I loved for two years in a row. Two years of avoidance, and probably cowardice, held me back from saying anything to him, though it might have been mutual, I have no idea. He was with who seemed to be his girlfriend. I was shocked because during the course of time when we were friends I thought he didn’t have time to be with someone, he was chaotically busy with adjusting his life, he wasn’t ready to commit and so on… I know that now things might have changed for him, but I don’t know why my heart shattered then glued itself up in ten seconds. I stood inside with our friend who works there and as we were chatting, the man passed me by, visited the restroom then passed me by again to go back to the table where he was sitting. The cherry on top was when that guy who has taken my mind by storm gave me a call amidst all this mess. There was no place I could stand in to avoid the rain except in the entrance of a building directly facing that table. I intended not to look at him to avoid more ten seconds of shattering, and I focused on the phone call instead because that’s what mattered. Now what does this have to do with the intro above? Here goes the explanation.
I wondered, on my way back home, whether I was one of those people who bothered others by being kind. I can’t recall instances, especially during the past two years, when I was mean to anyone (relationships aside, that’s where hormones are involved…). I’ve been trying to maintain an at-least-one-act-of-kindness-a-day record, and I’ve been trying to balance how much I give to get to a rational how much I take.
I sometimes read articles about how we’re supposed to give without waiting for anything in return, and as a giver I’d like to first thank whoever said so and second tell him to give me an example of a satisfied person who only gives. Not everyone you give is going to give back, but when you wake up to that fact, you will either get fed up with not taking or blame the taker for not giving back. I personally don’t blame people for not giving back, no everyone wants to or has the mentality to. Instead of blaming them, why not step aside? Imagine the situation in reverse. You’re the one receiving from someone who didn’t mean much to you, or someone who you don’t see a reason for their giving so you don’t give back. It happens. I sometimes take things from people who are so willing to give, but keeping the people isn’t an option. Instead of taking and celebrating the joy, I explain to the person that I wish they step out or at least stop treating me nicely. You can’t expect everyone to do that. Now go back to the original scenario. I select who to give to, and it’s some sort of test. For myself before them. I check whether it’s the correct person I want to give to. I check whether there’s a fruitful chance they’re going to give back. I check if they appreciate what I’m doing (not all people can express gratitude through giving, they only know how to thank, which is good enough).
Bottom line, we’re not staying on this planet for long. I might write this and not wake up. I might write this and survive sixty more years. I don’t know, and neither do you.
When you stop to evaluate your giving, things will change. The most valuable gift you can give is your time. Be it in real life, on Skype, on some instant messenger… You’re giving something you can never take back, something that will never be yours again. Five seconds, twenty minutes, three hours, a week, a lifetime… You have to give. You can’t survive alone everyday. There are things that will change your life. There are instances when you will feel that this change is something you aren’t ready for. It’s okay. Embrace it. Look into it. See whether this is a chance for you to give back as well. If it is, you will thank the coincidences or fate that brought you this moment. If it isn’t, be clear and limit the efforts (and hopes) of the giver.
Be true. Be brave. Be kind. We’re all fighting battles inside of us. We all need a shoulder, an arm, a kiss, a conversation. Never think that you cannot change anyone’s life or touch it. You’re in for an amazing surprise if you take this beautiful step.