Refuse to be Passive

Do I Stay or Do I Go?

In Life in General on April 12, 2010 at 9:21 pm

After a particularlly harrowing day at work, I’ve asked myself once again that question that has been popping up in my brain more and more frequently, “Do I stay or do I go?” It was a rough day. I hate delivering bad news, and I really hate delivering bad news to nice people. And I really really hate delivering bad news to nice people who are full of hope. It’s like I’ve taken their heart, ripped it out, torn it up, and stompped on it. I have crushed their dreams. It makes me angry and it makes me want to cry. I understand that rules have to be there for a reason– but sometimes I can’t stand the politics and bureaucracy. Those at a disadvantage, those who can’t or don’t know how to play the system get left behind, and it sucks.

I have a friend who once asked me why I volunteered, why I helped people I didn’t even know. I said, “If people didn’t help one another, this world would really suck.” He told me it sounded like something you’d read on a cereal box. I’d like to know what cereal he’s eating. But he honestly believes that you watch out for your friends and family, and that the government should take care of the rest, after all, isn’t that what our taxes are for? I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a more selfish and pathetic approach to life than that. We are beings with capabilities for compassion and mercy– shouldn’t we be making use of it? Anyone who has recieved kindness from a total stranger understands why we help others. I remember walking the stairs up to street level from the Tube in London. I had overpacked (which I have since taken lessons from), and my large suitcase was bumping it’s way up the stairs, while I carried my smaller suitcase in my other hand, had a messenger bag slung over my shoulder, and a backpack on my back. Two individuals on the stairs with me stopped each offered to take a pieces of luggage to the top of the stairs. There were enough people around that I was fairly sure they wouldn’t take off with my things, so I accepted their help. Sure enough, we got to the top of the stairs, they made sure I was in control of all my baggage, and wished me a good day. Delightful Londoners. A random act of kindness made my day, and even now, three years later, I still remember. What a great introduction to England. I felt special. Their help was unearned, which made me appreciate it even more. Therefore, if that simple act by those two men could create such a memory in me, should I not allow others to experience that same kindness? He asked me why I volunteer, why I help. Why wouldn’t I?

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