Many people like to say that the world is divided between good and evil, but they’re wrong. There can be good in what seems evil, and likewise there can be evil in what seems good. The true division in the world is the choice between acting on altruism or egoism. Should you act to promote yourself or should you work to promote others? A lot of people, including myself, look at the time they are given and they think that it is too short to matter. We think, I am just a single being trapped in one tiny corner of the universe, how can anything I do ever make a real difference in this world? And if nothing we do really matters, why spend our time doing anything that doesn’t promote ourselves? What’s the crime in being selfish? What’s the crime in slipping into the closer parking space, or eating the last piece of chocolate cake, or spending your excess money on a personal vacation? And not only that, but what’s the point in trying to make others happy or trying to save the world, if you know that it’s only fleeting, it’ll resort back to misery as soon as you release your grip? What’s the point in giving the homeless man money if he’s only going to spend it on his addiction? What’s the point in speaking out against environmental issues if you know that more than half the world isn’t listening? What’s the point in wasting your energy on trying to make the world a better place when you could just work on making your place a better world? I guess there’s really no good answer to this, but that’s because it’s not a question at all, it’s a choice.
I know that my words are quiet and I know that my actions are small, but even the tiniest steps of the staircase still lead upward. When I choose to act on altruism, it’s because I know that what I do for others matters so much more than what I do for myself. Why buy myself another item I can live without, when I could put my money towards a cause that matters? Why waste my life on selfish pursuits when I could donate my time to those who are truly in need? For me, it has never been about learning to cherish what I have because others have so much less; I am already thankful for all that I have. No, for me, it is about finding out how to give the less fortunate every opportunity that I have been blessed with. Why should I have so much and they have so little? The answer is so that I should have the pleasure of sharing my wealth, wisdom, and happiness with them. I choose altruism because I have the ability and resources to do so.
Something funny happened today and I just had to share it with you, my nonexistent readers. In my writing I like to create characters, characters who either resemble myself or characters who I wish I would resemble. As you may recall, I wrote She – A Character Profile about a rather extraordinarily ordinary girl. Her most remarkable feature, I wrote, was her eyes; “Some days they were a dull gray and others a brilliant blue, but always they were lit up as if she constantly laughed at a joke only she understood. Her thin lips rested upon her face, slightly curved upward, waiting to join her eyes in silent laughter.” When I wrote this, I thought that this is the woman I would love to be; the woman with a secret happiness in her soul, hidden behind blue curtains, that would drive any man crazy just to get even the slightest hint at what that secret might be. Well, what happened today was that I was given a compliment that reminded me of this character. I was going about my normal routine when for a split second I locked eyes with an acquaintance and he said to me, “You know, you look like you’re always on the verge of a smile, like your eyes are always laughing at some knock-knock joke or something; you have that kind of curiosity in them.” I just had to stop for a minute and absorb all of what he had just said. I thought, these are my words. I wrote these words about someone else and here he is speaking them about me. It was so surreal. I had to remind myself to say “thank you,” but what I wanted to do was hug him tight and never let go. Today, for a fraction of a second, fantasy become reality; today, I was able to add a bit more magic into my own story.
She was lovely like the lilies in May, but she had a ferocity that put even the angriest of storms to shame. Her rage did not sprout from the people who had wronged her; she like any normal, healthy being forgave and forgot and carried on with her life. No, rather she had a fury for life; a passion that hungered for every emotion and every experience, whether it belonged to her or to someone else. Her eyes seemed forever misty with the endless tears she cried; tears of joy, tears of hate, tears of defeat, tears for herself, tears for friends, and tears for strangers. Others would see her as unstable, a basket case who lacked the strength to keep her emotions at bay; but he thought her radiant, every tear a diamond that kept her eyes sparkling. He didn’t see her as broken, but rather more whole than anyone he’d ever met. She felt everything, experienced everything in its entirety; not a single detail was ever overlooked or neglected. He knew that anyone lucky enough to stake claim to her heart would receive a love boundless like the stars and endless like the very fabric of time itself. He only prayed that whoever that person may be is able to show her a similar love in return. A woman like that deserved nothing less.