Generosity isn’t generosity if it doesn’t hurt just a little. I feel like all sorts of people right now are trying to prove their generous nature and good virtues. However, it’s all an act. We have a need to be considered good. We want to be considered righteous and all that, but due to this we often claim we’re generous out of compulsion. A compulsion driven by the need to be viewed as virtuous. The truth is, that generosity isn’t something along the lines of a publicity stunt, or something to appease your own conscience, but an act of sacrifice and kindness that should pinch a little bit.
This is a lesson I need to teach myself, and maybe it could prove useful for a lot of you guys out there. Optimism isn’t wrong. It isn’t a weakness to have hope and a positive outlook on future events.
I’m a firm believer in always giving yourself a (sometimes more than) healthy dose if reality, but if we let the danger that this world poses really sink in, then we risk losing the faith we need to fight it. Faith that there truly can be a better tomorrow.
Not to sound too much like a Disney movie or anything, but…believe in yourself. Cheesy, I know. Not something I normally write, but I realized something. Anybody with potential is also equipped with extreme distrust in their own capabilities. It’s like a “potential fairy” gives people blessings of opportunity, and curses of crippling self doubt. The truth is, there’s no way to overcome this than to have confidence in who you were made to be. You’ve got to take charge, fix your weaknesses, and take advantage of the things that give you strength.
Why is it so annoying when we’re proved wrong? For example, you know when you’re in an active argument, and you realize in an instant that the other person is right? It’s irritating. Sometimes you just keep arguing for the sake of it. I heard somewhere that being proved wrong often sparks a similar response in your mind to feeling real pain. Sounds about right. It’s difficult to admit you’re wrong, but maybe that’s what’s most important. Or something. Being wrong is tough. However, it might actually be the most important part of learning.
Social media is a relatively new thing. It’s honestly not that “experienced” in terms of how long it’s been operational. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how social media became such a success and such a massive part of our lives. That’s when I realized that there are a few key weaknesses and strengths that it plays to. For example, everybody on social media (from the people virtue signaling to those arguing in the comments sections of posts) wants validation. They want something to stand for, they want something to rally against. Humans kind of get off on that feeling of validation derived from a like or someone agreeing/disagreeing with your ideas.
People often ask why religion is a thing. It’s a good question, because it’s a difficult one to answer. Why do so many people look to worship a god of some kind? Well, I had it explained to me in one sentence. “In every human heart, there is a God-shaped void.” The more you think about it, the more you realize how true it is. From the beginning of time, humanity has searched for a way to fill that void, and from that desire came hundreds of different religions. Different religions, different denominations, different sects of varying beliefs. The reason people find religion is because they need it. They need something to stand for, they need a flag to carry, they need a hope to fill a part of their hearts that can’t be filled by something else. So…why does humanity chase religion? Simply, because we subconsciously want to.
So I remember hearing about an experiment done on a documentary where they put people in a room and left them there. Feel’s pretty bland, right? Well, it was actually kind of funny. The room itself reflected the essence of a standard, soul-suckingly drab, corporate office meeting room. There were a few basic decorations, but for the most part the room was dull and not special. On a nearby stand was an electric buzzer, and the experiment was to see if a human being would rather periodically (lightly) taser themselves for excitement than be left to deal with the lack of energy in the room with just their imagination. It was honestly really funny seeing people get up at times, look longingly at the buzzer, then buzz themselves. Life can feel drab. Life can feel monotonous, and I feel like the experiment was the perfect way to visualize how we sometimes “buzz” ourselves IRL to keep from dealing with the fact that we feel empty. Empty, often due to a God-shaped void that can’t be filled with material things. Empty, because we often neglect the assurance of a higher power, a God.
We don’t like doing things that involve work. That’s just a fact. We would much rather secure results with no trace of work to be done to get them. For example, I’ve been trying to learn some new things recently, and the most irritating part of the process is in between the beginner’s luck stage and mastery. When you hit that learning plateau where you don’t get much better and just have to keep on practicing until you master the skill. It’s the section where you just endlessly practice. The one where you don’t feel yourself improving. We hit that plateau with a lot of things in life, and I guess that no matter how annoying that part of learning is, it’s necessary. You have to move through the stalemate in order to hit a positive inflection point where you begin to grow.
“Rough seas make stronger sailers. Tough times build stronger people.” – Robin Sharma.
Let’s face it, we hate facing difficulties of any kind. We feel that life would be a lot better if we just didn’t have them. When I feel that way, I think of this quote that my dad repeats to me all the time. It’s a very “dad” thing to do, but unbelievably logical. Smooth seas don’t push a sailor to learn, to improve. We need rough seas. While this notion doesn’t really help soothe the irritation brought by life’s challenges, it does help us understand why we need them.