Is Losing Really Such a Bad Thing?

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Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of movies involving the bitter taste of defeat. Two of those movies are “Invictus” and “Rocky”, but let’s talk about “Invictus.” At the beginning of the movie, the team was doing terribly in every game they played. They were fed up with it, fed up with disappointing their loved ones, themselves, and their country. Then this one powerful scene was shown, where the captain of the team was talking to his teammates and coaches after a huge loss. He told everyone as they drank, “Drink this beverage with the memory of this loss in your mind. Remember this moment, and engrave it in your heart. Remember this bitter taste of defeat. Then swear to yourself that you will never taste it again.” And this one simple scene just stuck with me for the rest of the week. It motivated me to keep trying no matter how much I’m kicked down.

Lately I’ve been feeling like everything I’ve planned has gone terribly wrong, and that my world has been crashing down. And it broke me completely. I did nothing for weeks, just pretending to be happy in front of my friends and family and living life like a hollow shell. I thought I lost my purpose in life, my motivation. My grades weren’t where I wanted them to be, my loved one was gone forever, and everything just seemed to be against me. I had a good friend to tell me that everything was going to be all right. She made me laugh, and made me feel genuinely happy at times. She rose me from a hellish place and made me feel safe and secure. I lost the urge to end it all. And now I’m almost back to normal, and working harder than ever to be happy so that I’ll never go through that again. I’ve regained my stride and motivation to get a 4.4 weighted GPA, remain in Honors Society, and get into UCLA with a Chemistry major.

What should be pulled out of all of this is that sometimes it’s necessary to hit rock bottom in order to know what you truly want, in order to be truly happy. Taste that bitter taste of defeat and hopelessness, and remember it forever. Your past shapes who you are as a person today, whether you realize it or not. It’s up to you as to how you handle your problems, whether negatively or positively. Choose to handle your problems positively. If you do, you’ll realize that losing everything is not the end of the world. Take some mental notes on what you did wrong, and work hard to prevent it from happening again. Because if you handle your problems well, you can turn that taste of defeat into that of victory.

Revenge – Is it Worth it?

So the question is: Is revenge really worth it? Well the answer really depends.

During the fifth grade, my best friend had done something that really made me angry. I don’t quite remember what it was, but I believe she either talked bad about me to other people or told the guy I liked that I liked him. It was probably the second option. But anyways, I was so angry that before class started, I walked up to her and punched her really hard on the shoulder. I also punched the people she talked to about me. Was it worth it? No it definitely wasn’t. I regretted it soon after and hoped it wouldn’t hinder our friendships that badly. The reason for my wanting revenge was petty and could have been easily forgotten. Heck, I’ve forgotten a lot of the details already and it hasn’t even been ten years yet. However, I DO believe the second scenario is definitely worth it…

All throughout the seventh grade, I was forced to sit with this guy who was very..perverted. He’d touch me in inappropriate places every day, laugh about it, and act as if it was nothing. Being the idiotic middle schooler I was, I never told anyone about it. I don’t understand why I didn’t, but it was probably because I didn’t want to face the consequences. I thought that if I told on him, everyone in the class would hate me for it because he was so popular and well-liked. Taking this into consideration, I took to more violent measures. One day I got so fed up with his inappropriateness that when he touched me, I took my pen and stabbed him in his “precious” place. Then right after, I punched him as hard as I could on his face. He never touched me again. Do I regret? No. Have I ever? Hah. Definitely not. It was probably the best and most satisfying decision I’ve ever made.

So both of these scenarios involve violence. In my opinion—and purely that—it really does depend on the situation in order to properly judge if an action is justified or not. I suppose the morale of the story is to think through your actions before doing anything rash. That is, unless extreme measures call for it. Don’t do something violent or stupid if the reason for the action is petty. Think about it in your head: is the revenge justified? Do the actions weigh out the bad of the consequences?

Maternal Love

To be honest, I don’t think there’s any other love greater than maternal love. The feeling of knowing that your child was created from you and your loved one creates a bond stronger than that of friends and arguably family. Being a mother, you want to do everything you can for your child: to take care of them, love them, make sure they’re healthy, and to ensure they’ll always be happy.

But the problem with this kind of love is that it can become twisted. A lot of the time, mothers tend to confuse happiness with success and money. Sure they’ll say they just want you to be happy and that they’ll support any decision you make with your life, but in actuality they’ll probably back out on this and push you to do things you don’t want to do. I have a sister who didn’t really think she was academic nor athletic, but she knew she was good at taking care of children. Her decision was to become a social worker and possibly become a teacher or daycare worker. At first, my mother supported this while my sister was in high school, thinking she would change her mind about being a social worker. However, my sister stuck to this thought. After becoming a senior, my mother became worried for her. She started to push her to become a doctor, a nurse, or even an engineer. She was so fixated on the thought that you have to be a successful person with a lot of money when you grow up in order to be happy. And to be a “successful” person, you absolutely have to be working in the STEM field. Or so she thought.

So my sister went into college with a biology degree. She didn’t do so great, and ended up having to switch majors. What she chose was the sociology major. Seeing there wasn’t any other choice, my mother finally accepted this decision, although reluctantly. After watching all of this, I realized my mother had just gone through a complete circle. She went from “accepting” my sister’s decision, to rejecting it, to accepting it again. What was the point in rejecting my sister’s decision? If she could have seen that there was nothing wrong in majoring in sociology sooner, she could have saved so much money and time.

I don’t think my mother intended to hinder my sister or her happiness. She had the best intentions in mind, but her maternal love became twisted and made her think that success + money = happiness. A lot of mothers believe this for some reason. I really don’t believe that this is the case. So if you’re a mother, please rethink your decisions and don’t force your child to do what they don’t want to do. If they’re making the wrong decisions, then it’s fine and even encouraged to intervene. But choosing a certain life career is not a wrong decision, and your child can most definitely be trusted to make this decision on their own. It’s okay to try to help them and encourage them, but don’t be forceful about it.

 

Collaborating With the “Enemy”

Let’s say you’re in class, and your teacher tells you to form a group of 3-4 people in order to do a project or something similar. You have one other person in your group, and look at who’s the only person left in the class? The one who ALWAYS disagrees and argues with everything you say, and you can never ever seem to get along with them. Oh believe me, that feeling is terrible. ESPECIALLY when before joining your group, they give you a disgusted and angry look and grunts before walking off to somehow find another group. Nope. They’re stuck with you, and you with them. ¬†Class ends, and you have this sinking feeling in your heart that this project will greatly hurt your grade because of the conflicting opinions between you and that other person.

The next day, you have to form back into your groups and work together to bounce off ideas. Guess what happens? They don’t want to work with you, let alone talk. They face away, and start doing things on their own that may or may not be related to the class. The day after that, they still refuse to work with you. What do you possibly do? Honestly, I still don’t know.

I didn’t write about this (may or may not be) hypothetical situation to provide a solution for it. This time I’m asking for one. Anyone have any ideas? Because I can’t think of anything right now and if this continues, I never will. I’m sure all of us have encountered/will encounter a similar situation someday, and I want all of us to be able to combat or prevent it. In the working world, there is no such thing as avoiding each other. There will of course be people you dislike and can’t get along with. But as humans, we have to learn to bear with it and somehow find a way to do so.

The Silent Enemies

So in class, we’ve started reading “The Count of Monte Cristo.” While I’ve just started reading, I’ve come to a realization. Currently, all of us probably have at least one enemy in the sidelines. We don’t know who they are, nor what they’ve been doing behind our backs, possibly not even what they hate about us. And those kinds of enemies are the most dangerous ones. We have absolutely no idea how or when they’re hurting us.

In the book I previously mentioned, the main character Dantes was stabbed in the back by the enemies he never really considered a threat. They accused him of being involved in a conspiracy against the king, which at the time (during the time Napoleon was sent to the Isle of Elba) was the worst possible thing to do. He was sent to prison, and was most likely going to remain there for the rest of his life unless something was done.

How terrible is that? Although of course in real life situations, the consequences of such backstabbing actions is rarely ever quite as severe (at least I hope so).

And so I’d like to address the problem of why these types of dangerous relationships occur. Honestly, I can only come to the conclusion of envy. If you did something to directly harm them and make them hate you, then you would clearly know who was your enemy. They most likely wouldn’t even hate you in silent, but rather clearly express their disgust and anger. But envy, in opposition, is quite different. They don’t even need to know you to hate you. If you’re pretty or hot or have incredibly great grades, they can just see or hear that easily.

I wouldn’t say you need to become paranoid about figuring out who all of your enemies are. A lot of the time the people who silently hate you do absolutely nothing, so don’t worry about it too much. It’s just those rare chances where you encounter an incredibly scary and possibly even insane (not insane as in mad but..I suppose, dramatic?) person that is worrying. I’ve met some people like that and it is not pretty. But nothing bad happened except for a few violent and loud encounters; I doubt anything worse will happen to most of you.

Compassion

Why is it that we humans, as a whole, have the inability to control our emotions? Most of the time we are able to suppress our sympathies and concerns, that is, if they are related to other people. But when we are directly affected by the situation, it suddenly becomes a problem that we simply cannot avoid. Is it because we are self-centered creatures who only care for ourselves? Or is it because if we don’t emotionally ignore the problems of others, our primal nature to survive would be disturbed? If we were to get upset or depressed over every single thing that happened to another person, we most likely wouldn’t be able to go on in life and would live in a rather unstable way. At least, that’s how I feel.

However, I do not believe that it is a good thing to ignore the problems of others. What is more important than our primal nature to survive is our compassion for others. This is not a world created for only the fittest to survive. We’re meant to help others who are lagging in their lives, not kick them down and rise up to the top. That is not to say that we should not strive to be the best we can be. But say if in order to be the best, you have to sabotage others and use underhanded means. You would ultimately lose your dignity. Honestly, I can’t really see how that isn’t the same as ignoring your fellow companions in order to accomplish your goals. In doing that, you would be going against your conscience and would ultimately lose yourself in your greed and ambitions.

Sometimes I like to joke around with my friend, saying that I’d rather ignore her when she needs help with school in order to accomplish my goals. Sometimes I mean it. But in the end, I always try to help her so long as I’m not incredibly occupied myself.

If you’re having a bad day or you’re busy, you don’t need to go out of your way to help another person with their needs (although if it’s incredibly important, it’d be the best decision to help them or at least redirect them to another source of aid). However, at least try to do so every once in a while, or whenever possible. When you succeed in helping another person, there’s just an amazing sensation that you get. You feel accomplished and happy that you could be of use to them.

The only thing I ask is that you care for your friends or even for people whom you aren’t acquainted with. Don’t consume yourself in your everyday life, stuck in the same rut, not helping anyone and just keeping to yourself. It’s a lonely life doing that. If you don’t already, someday you’ll feel the happiness in giving yourself up to your compassion and love for others. It may sound corny, but I still do believe it’s true.

P.S. Yes, this blog post was incredibly similar to my previous one. However, with the problems going on this week, I felt that the return of this topic was rather appropriate.

The Cruelties of Human Beings

Before this past month, I used to think of war as a nonexistent thing, as if it was going on somewhere in the world and I was completely unaffected by it. During class, when learning about war I’d think, “Wow, only 100 people died? That’s so little.” because I compared it to the losses of other wars. The deaths occurring seemed more like a fictional story that never really happened.

Deep inside though I always knew how tragic even just one death in a battle was, especially to the people who knew that one person. However, because I don’t like to dwell on the unpleasant, I try to block it out by making it seem fake or unrelated to me.

So I must ask, why do we avoid the problems and tragedies of others? We say we would help them if we could, but how do we know there’s no way we can? How do we know it’s hopeless? To be honest, I don’t have the answer myself. Sometimes I pass off my unwillingness to help with indifference. Perhaps that really is the reason, although I hate to imagine how cruel I must be because of that. To ignore the problems of others just because I am indifferent, it feels terrible. I know to an extent I care about them and the things they’re going through. I feel sorry for them, even angry perhaps, but not angry or sorry enough to do anything.

That is the problem with the majority of us humans. We often say “I feel so sorry for you” or “I wish I could help”, and never do anything as a result. Although we care about others, we tend to ignore and forget about them and their problems because it makes us unhappy. Many of us only do something when there’s something in it for us. In example, say there’s a child whose parents have both just died and is now an orphan. You feel sorry for them and “wish you could help”, but quickly want to forget about them and move on. But then you realize that because you are a Junior or Senior in high school, colleges are looking for some role of leadership or contribution to society. So then you decide to find a couple to adopt that child, and to found a society to help fund for this child and for others who are having similar problems.

Many of us are like that, whether it be high schoolers, children, or adults. We who do nothing for others or only do what benefits us are no different from the person in this hypothetical situation. You may think, “How terrible this person is, to only help a child because it benefits their future role in society.” However, are you not the same to some extent? I believe many people have experienced this level of selfishness at least once in their life, and that most will not admit it and condemn others for their actions. I hope that someday I may contribute to the cause of opening others’ eyes, instead of lying around doing nothing and feigning ignorance over the fact that I am selfish and indifferent towards the problems of others. This may just end up being another “I wish I could help” scenario, but we shall see to what extent my goal will reach. I refuse to allow myself to be this idiotic any longer, and I hope you too will refuse this.