I don’t want this entry to seem super negative or anything, but I guess you can look at it as a rant of some sort. The following are just my opinions and beliefs after careful observation (during the course of my life), and should not be taken as fact. I should also mention that I’m generally a very positive person and I love all the people in my life with my heart. Now that that’s out of the way, and without further ado, let’s start this entry:
In a generation where everything has become extremely connected, everyone seems to have become more selfish.
There are a countless amount of posts on how with the advent of social media, people are becoming more distant and self-absorbed, but I want to break off from this point and talk about how this selfie era is detrimental (IMO) to the world at large (through my own personal experiences).
As a person who is a strong believer of human rights and social justice, I was always keen to help those around me. This helping entailed both physical and emotional support: you need a small loan, let me lend you whatever I can; you need someone to talk to or give you advice on a subject, I’m your girl. In my life, it came to my attention that people usually sought me out for advice. And I was always (and still am) completely fine with that (I have a bachelors in psychology remember? ;)).
I’m more of a listener than a talker anyway, so when most of my conversations with people were solely about them, I didn’t care. Although I do like helping people, a bit of me also liked to be that type of person that people turned to and could trust in (it was a win-win situation I guess). It’s kind of like what I learned in psychology: is there any true and absolute altruistic act out there?
Anyway, most of my immediate family is like me in the sense that they have this innate desire to help those in need. And as naïve as I was, I thought that everyone else in the world was the same. But as I lived my life and went through my diagnosis and surgeries, I realized that not a lot of people are like that. And forget about helping people, a lot of people just don’t really care about anyone else except themselves nowadays. This world is lacking some serious empathy.
When I see people conversing, I pick out the minor and major negatives in their social encounter (when conversing either with me or with other people). For example, like how when someone (person A) is talking to someone else (person B), they’re (A) not really listening, they’re (A) just waiting for the other person (B) to stop talking so that they (A) can start talking about themselves again. Also, how when sympathy is given, it’s usually given in a “just don’t worry about it” type of attitude – dismissing the person’s feelings entirely. And finally, when someone feels that everyone else’s problems are trivial, but what they themself is going through is such an ordeal!
I also noticed that if you don’t talk about yourself, then you most likely will not talk about yourself for the entirety of the conversation. People only get to talk about themselves when they initiate it and force feed it down the person’s ears. Conversations are not really a means of connecting with people anymore, it’s now like waiting in any sort of line for something: when is it my turn to talk?
The world is not about “us,” it’s all about ME ME ME.
Where is the compassion? Where is the sympathy? Where is the love (shout out to Black Eyed Peas), the concern, the care? Sadly, not many people care about others anymore. And one can argue that it’s because there are so many problems in each and every household that nobody has the time to help or care for others. There’s just too much on everyone’s plate right now.
But honestly, problems aren’t only specific to this generation, problems have been happening since the beginning of time. I’m not saying my life is full of mishaps and is terribly difficult, but if I can find the time to care for and love people, than anyone can (and I’m definitely not superwoman).
You know what’s funny? Helping others actually helped me during my hard times. It reminded me of the good in peoples’ hearts, that I wasn’t alone, and that I am able to make a positive difference (no matter how big or small) in someone else’s life. Interestingly, when I think about others instead of myself, I become humble, hopeful, and more loving. When I only think of myself, I become selfish, impatient, and miserable.
There are both good and bad people in the world. There are the Mother Theresas, the Gandhis, the Martin Luther King Jrs, and then there are the Hitlers, the Stalins, and the Donald Trumps (lol). But I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about your neighbour, your classmate, your co-worker. I’m talking about you and me.
Anyone can be an exacter of change, but before we get to society at large, let’s first start in our own social groups – in our friend circle, our families. When you know someone is going through a hard time, ask them about it. Don’t pry or be pushy, but also don’t think, “if they wanted to talk about it, then they would, they probably just don’t feel comfortable right now.” Like how did you even come to that conclusion? If you asked them and they said they’re not comfortable then okay, but did you even try…?
Try listening intently and asking questions to actually show you’re interested. Show them you care. By your body language and facial expressions alone people can tell whether you’re into a conversation or not. If the conversation isn’t about you, it’s not the end of the world! You don’t always have to talk about yourself, you know?
And also try being sympathetic when someone is sharing personal information with you. Don’t dismiss their feelings by quickly changing the subject by saying “it’s okay, everything will work out.” Be compassionate!!
Making someone else’s day better in turn makes your own day better, I promise you. Karma works both ways you know 😉
I think I’ve said enough. I hope I don’t sound bitter or anything, but I was just thinking about this the other day and it got me really sad. And I feel like a lot of people stop caring because they feel like others don’t care. So it just becomes a cycle of “if they don’t care then why should I?”
Being loving, honest, compassionate, and empathetic is the best thing you can possibly be. And such positivity really does radiate through. It might be hard in the beginning when you realize that you’re the only one trying to be more sympathetic, but it will make a difference, I promise!
Alright, until next time my fellow readers, bloggers, and internet trolls alike, I bid you farewell, and wish you the best for today, tomorrow, and for all your days ahead.