April 12, 2016 | 10:06 a.m.

The ordinary level of moral selflessness virtue is not very high.

I am reading a book for one of my classes, and this line came up. I actually stopped my reading and was really struck about it. The first thing that came to my mind was why is it so suprising when someone does something nice? My idea is that everyone wants to be treated well, so they in return will treat others well. Sometimes we see people on a bad day, or we just do not mesh well with cetain people. I just like to think that everyone gives people the benefit of the doubt and give basic respects. Some say I am innocent because that is not how the world works. I would dismiss the idea because that is not the best way to look at things. I have a lot of things I get to do later in life, and I want to think there is something to improve and a bigger picture I can contribute to. I am going to turn 19 tomorrow. I have yet so much to learn, but sometimes I think I have things figured out. That I am going faster than people my age. I have beat the system, but who in the heck am I to know what my life will bring. I tell people all the time things will happen when it is supposed to happen. For now, the smallest thing can make the bigeest difference. I had an encounter with my friends at dinner when someone came up to us to talk about their religious views. He started talking about “how we are nothing, we are out of 9 billion people…we are dirt”. I got so taken back about that comment. How could someone say that?

I think America focuses more on individualism. It is about coming out on top. It is about achieving. I do want to do great things, but I hate the idea of importance on one person. I do not like to think that we cannot make the smallest of difference. One person thinking of a really good idea would not be able to make that happen unless the person has other people supporting him. Yes, some people may not get the right recognition during their time, but nonetheless it takes a group effort. I for a long time wanted to be good. I wanted to show others I am caring. I was taught to treat people with manners. It started to just become instinct. I had sympathy for people. It was not until end of high school and now college I started to feel empathy. I have been blessed with seeing and interacting different kinds of people. I focused a lot on people’s first impressions concerning race, color, biases, and stereotypes. That is only the tip of the iceberg.

For the past year, I have learned so much about different cultures, experiences, perspectives, and situations. WIth all those, I learned about myself. I have opened up more than I have ever had. I have gotten in touch with my real self and not just a facade. If anything, I have felt more myself. I do not know the specific moment, but I remember during Junior year when an ex-friend told me “I am not like other people…I communicate with people in a way not many people do.” I perceived it as a compliment, and I being very taken aback dismissed the comment. The things I do I used to think they would do the same back. I would do so much, and then I would not get the result I wanted. I was expecting something for just being good. What good does that do for me? If anything, it is a selfish thing to do. I raised my expectations when it came to birthdays, special occasions, holidays, and even friendships. I would dream of grand gestures when I gave grand gestures to others. I was digging a hole I could never fill. I deserve as much as anyone else. I was feeding into individualism. I thought then I was not at fault. I did everything right and more with the people I have in my life. Life does not work that way, especially if I do not communicate well.

I would say I do not want anything and expect something. Ah, the tale of expecting people to read your mind. It still has not worked even after all this time, and it will probably will never.. It was time for my INFP self to get in touch with reality. I do not liking doing that. I like living in a world with rose-colored glasses. I like seeing only the positive things, but with that I never saw my faults. I am an unperfect human. I do not know all the answers, let alone 1/millionth of the answers to my life. I am just thinking in the environment I am in now where I am comfortable in doing things. I want to experience the good and the bad. I want to improve on myself. I cannot judge others on how they are doing. I do not feel right seeing myself above others. I never liked competition (sports was a nada), or when people try to one up me! I was doing the exact thing!

I think it was sophomore year when I realized I need to really talk to people. I was always the quieter one out of my friendships, so I got the role of the listener. There is some quote about how we could potentially like anyone we meet if we hear their story. That is why Junior year I changed from being good to choosing good. I wanted to genuinely get to know people. I wanted to make others feel important. It was a source of light for me. I felt whole inside, and I filled the hole I had. It in return gave me happiness. Yes, I have a fault of giving too much sometimes, but kindness is always free. We are able to change the world. We may not see it, but it is a continuous reaction. One thing we say could make someone’s whole day. We never know when people need someone in their life. I would know. I never said I needed help, so I suffered. I just feel so much more happier.

I just got  a call from my family. I do not have a whole extended family, and tens of people going to say Happy Birthday. Sometimes I feel bad for not having a lot of friends on Facebook, or not getting enought likes on something. Once, I saw my parents on the screen I just wept. It was the stress and all other emotions that flooded out of me. I am stressed with school, and I miss them. I always have my mom, dad, sister, Lola, and Lolo. They have always been there for me. I feel safest with them. They have taught me so much more than just being good, but to just be happy and choose good. My family has always been giving, and I if anything want to give back to them. I kind of lost my train of thought, so I am going to end this.

I am almost 19. It does not seem like that much of an important birthday, but I love underdog things. I know it will get better. I can put myself in control of things. I can find a good balance bewteen individualism and collectivism. I can prove to myself I can be the best person I can be, so I can contribute my best to others. I want to make sure my life counts. I want to do so much for others and myself. I just want to live life. It is not about knowing all the answers. I will never know some things. I am learning to be okay with that. I am learning to be fully myself. I am learning to be me!

Thank you again so much for everything! Shout out to my Lola who always reads these posts. Have a nice day!

-Alyssa

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