What is the Right Way?

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Dear Quiet Minds,

People of character do the right thing even if no one else does, not because they think it will change the world but because they refuse to be changed by the world.

-Michael Josephson

Since television was created, we’ve been constantly exposed to all the horrible news in the world. We realize how many people make bad decisions and ruin their lives. As a nineteen-year-old, I have found that learning how to be an adult is a difficult task. Who do I want to be in a world like this? I have to choose to be someone that I can be proud of, someone that I won’t regret when my final days arrive. Now that I’ve had to do more things on my own and talk to people even though my shyness gets the better of me, I realize that I need to figure out how I want to act. How do I want others to perceive me? Throughout my life, I’ve pretended to be an extrovert even though my introverted heart urges me to run at the sight of conversation, but why is it so hard for me to be who I want to be?

One thing I envy about not being younger is my ignorance. This ignorance is what allows children to act so innocently. They do not judge and they innately choose what they want to do. It might not be the right choice but they act like themselves because that is the only thing they know. I wish I could transport to my childhood so I could remember who I was, remember when I acted without overthinking. In childhood you are yourself, in adolescence you lose yourself and in adulthood you have to find yourself somehow. Being in the adulthood stage brings out my fear of never truly finding myself, but it also shows me that I have to look within my soul. Ultimately, I’ve come to discover that I want to be the person who tries to do the right thing. If I constantly try to improve myself, I will never lose myself again because I know exactly what I’m striving for.

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I don’t think there’s a right way to live life, but if you always choose the right path or the best path for yourself and others, then you have a pretty good chance of making it. However, the downside to this is the longstanding question: What if you do right by a person and that person does something wrong? You might see this question and think well, obviously, it’s not your fault, but let’s use an example. What if you save the life of someone and they go and kill someone else? Or what if you give money to someone and they use it to buy drugs? Is it your fault? These scenarios have played out on shows, in real life, everywhere and there’s one simple answer: it was their choice. You did right by them and what they do with your kindness is completely up to them. There are always going to be negative outcomes no matter how kind you, but kindness takes you farther than greed or pride.

That’s why I want to choose the right way, the way where I can be helpful, be kind and always stay true to myself, and not because I want to be loved or praised or rewarded, but because it makes me feel happy.

And why would I let the world change me when I have the chance to change the world?

Love,
Jackie

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