The desperate attempt to feel among, to belong, to be accepted, often precludes us of simple pleasures, and even satisfaction in life. We are overtaken by thoughts to please everyone, with the delusional thinking that when we do that, we become more accepted by the people whose attention we desperately yearn for. The result? We may unfortunately get burned in the process, and like they say, “experience is always the best teacher”.
Kamani was the star of her high school sophomore class. She was intelligent, smart and very pretty, a perfect description of ‘beauty and brains’. But from a very young age, Kamani always felt the need to be accepted by everyone. She grew up in a single parent home, after suffering years of physical and emotional abuse from her abusive and estranged father. As a little girl, Kamani used to hear her parents’ incessant quarrels, and how her father often accused her mother of not doing ‘enough’ to keep their family together and as a result had been very aggressive towards her. Therefore, Kamani grew up with the mentality that in order to truly be accepted and loved by other people, one had to go out of their way to do more than their abilities could compass, even if it was to one’s detriment, just to belong in other people’s good books.
Therefore, even the times that she felt tired and weary, in an attempt to continue to feel accepted by her peers, she always tried to do the extraordinary, growing up with the illusion that only in so doing could she be truly loved. This assumption had seemed to work pretty well all through her elementary education, until she got to her sophomore year.
One day, she had fallen ill and had been unable to attend school to turn in her entry for a much-anticipated scholarship to fund her college education. Unfortunately, the sponsors for the scholarship were only going to be at the school to select the best entries, which would be pooled along with the other entries across the country. Kamani had prepared so hard for that competition, and in keeping up with her prior standards, had done a very credible job that was capable of winning the rounds.
However, she unfortunately fell sick, and had no one to help her turn in her entry. Her mother worked the early morning shift and had been unable to turn in her entry, and had told her to wait for other future opportunities. In thinking that she would have done it for any of her ‘friends’ if they had been in her shoes, Kamani decided to ask several of her friends to help her turn in her work. To her shock and utmost dismay, people whom she had helped in the past and whom she thought would have been able to help her, all turned their back against her in her time of need. Every single person she called to help her turn in her entry, all answered in the negative. To cut the long story short, Kamani never made it to that competition, and that experience taught her some life lessons:
- No matter how hard you try, humans will always be humans. Jealousy and envy is rife with this specie. She later realized that her ‘supposed’ friends had all the while envied her talents, and did not care as much about her as she had thought they did.
- You can never please everyone. Therefore, do not go out of your compass to try to do that. Learn to do the best for others that you are capable of.
- Salutation is not love. The fact that someone smiles at you does not mean that they truly love you; or the fact that you have helped someone in the past, does not mean that they will help you too when you are in need.
As in the words of Jide Arije, “live to be wise, fools die for fun”!
To your continued success. Cheers!!!