I live in a world that is different from what is conventionally portrayed in the media. I am unable to understand the world that is commonly suggested and often talked about in friendly circles.
I live in a world where courtesy requires a certain boldness; one where strangers on a narrow path exchange awkward glances as they edge by one other, making conscious efforts not to touch skin with the other.
One that has me filled with negative feelings about people I haven’t met, as if everyone only cares about themselves and that if I looked lost or burdened, no one would possibly stop and drop a question born out of genuine concern. An act of altruism, in the world of today, is more often interpreted as being pretentious than caring.
How is it that we have fallen so far from loving one another to the point where we are literally afraid of showing concern for our fellow human being? A world, where kindness towards animals is perceived as easier than to have the same amount of courtesy and love for another human being, particularly, one that is a stranger.
Even in acquaintance we often find ourselves filled with hesitation at the crossroads of whether to show concern and risk sounding pretentious or eccentric. There is a fear present in us, the people of today, and we succumb to this very fear, more often than not.
Courtesy demands that an individual be bold; one that is not afraid to show love and genuine concern for others.
I am no exception, yet there is a fire burning inside me that I often try to suppress. I walk past strangers and if I’m not careful enough, a half-smile emerges followed by frantic attempts to hide it upon self discovery. I too have this fear. I too am too weak to love my fellow stranger, even in the simplest way.
A smile goes a long way, but in the world today, the long way is the way we try to avoid. Everything should be done as efficiently as possible with the lowest possible cost, be it time, money or any other individual incentive, tangible or otherwise. What would take the least from us and put us in a position to gain the most, is where we want to be.
We take shortcuts. We build friendships out of self-interest. We evaluate relationships with others based on our individual needs. We manipulate others into doing or giving towards our favor and we console ourselves by telling ourselves that everyone does it, and that we’re just progressing in live, just like everyone else.
Altruism is not nearly extinct, no, but to express these values and put them into motion, well, now that’s something to look out for..