I don't know if I believe it, but I feel like we're all meant to do something. It could be anything.
I had a fortune cookie the other day, and when I opened it, the fortune said this: "Your biggest achievement lies in helping others first." Usually, fortunes are just fun, but this one seemed to speak to me so loud and clear, it was almost haunting.
Everyone goes through hard times. Everyone. It doesn't matter how big or small or tall or wide, the tragedies are inevitable. Some need a little more help than others.
When I read that fortune, the words ringing through my ears and into my memories, faces of my friends and family flashed before me––faces of the broken, sad people that came to me in tears or rage or worse––silent, dead, brokenness. But these people also had something else in them––warm laughter and smiles, genuine, giving hearts the world tried to crush and turn to stone, and a small, flickering flame of hope.
There are a lot of people that try to convince me that I'm optimistic, too optimistic, maybe even optimistic to the point of recklessness and self-destruction. You know, those pessimists who claim they're just realists, but they're pessimists in denial of their negative outlook that plagues them like a stormy cloud over their head. But what they don't realize is that without that hope, I wouldn't be able to help anyone, I wouldn't see the flicker of goodness and hope inside people that would will me to help them make that flicker into a roaring fire of the sun. I know the difference between a teardrop of fire and ash; it is too late for the latter, but for most people, it's never too late.
People will warn me. "You can't help." "Don't get your hopes up." "I'm never going to be better." I refuse to believe any of that, and although I will hear these warnings, I will not listen, because I know that's just the dark part of them speaking––the pessimism, the pain, the protective part of them that doesn't dare to let their hope burst open with light ever again because a storm might come around to beat it out of their skies.
Trying to help people takes a lot of patience. And over the years, I've been able to extend my patience––it seems limitless now (except when it comes to little children...I'm still working on that). You also have to know what's best for the person when they don't know it themselves; usually, it's a gut feeling that tells me whether the person needs comfort, advice, the harsh-cold truth, or just someone else's presence. The thing is, when I see someone in pain, my heart sinks and mourns for them and desires to hug theirs to lessen the pain. I can't help it. Especially when I knew the person is good. They don't deserve it. Most people don't.
The point of this post is really a reflection for myself, I guess. I think my desire to lessen others' pain comes from the trigger of the memories of my own pain; I see them hurting, and I remember my hurting, and I would not wish that upon anyone. I felt so alone in that pain at one point and another and another and another and it almost buried that minute drop of flame in the pits of darkness inside me, and I don't want anyone else to feel that way. So if my biggest achievement lies in helping others first, then I'm happy. I like to help people. I love it. I want to make their life even just a little better.
And whether that's through writing or just being there for people that come into my life, challenge accepted.