YES it's finally playoff time, NHL, NBA, sports, sports, SPORTS! We can't get enough of them. Besides the Super Bowl and March Madness, months before April don't even exist in my world or any world for that matter. Can you feel my testosterone through the screen? I hope not. That would be weird. This is uncomfortable.
As excited as I am (and believe me I am) to watch abnormally large individuals get paid thousands of dollars over the course of a few hours, I had a realization the other day - actually almost a feeling of guilt; kind of like when someone calls you and you purposely don't pick up, then text them back a few minutes later that you can't talk. Shout out to caller ID, which doesn't get nearly enough respect.
My realization was simple, "How was Go-Gurt not more popular?" and then my second thought was even more substantial, "Are humans as a whole selfish?"
I'll stop here for a second just in case you have to pick up pieces of your mind from it being blown.
Good? OK let's rewind for a sec.
This thought stemmed from watching an NHL playoff game the other day with a friend. She received a phone call during the first period in regard to donating her time for a local charity event, but chose to be rather hasty with the caller as "the game" was on.
I asked her, "What made you so against helping?" Proximity? Time? Interest? At first she couldn't answer. Classic awkward silence. Then she responded "I don't know, the game was on." For the record, this is something I have said 1,000 times before. This is the issue.
And it got me thinking: Are we so caught up in our daily to-dos that we can't take a minute to help others out? Do we think what we are doing is actually more important? Do we think if we do a couple nice things we've hit our quota? I'm not just talking about sporting events, those are a few hours now and then. I'm talking about the broader picture -- the motions we go through every day that make us forget what is truly valuable. Sometimes we get caught up in our jobs. Sometimes we get caught up spending hours getting involved with celebrity lives and other less... important news. Many of us are guilty of doing this. I know a lot of people whose favorite hobby is keeping up with the Kardashians.
We come in contact with a countless amount of invitations to support causes, people, and organizations daily -- some, which we entertain, and others, which we disregard. What makes us pick and choose? Of course knowing someone personally who we have invested time, energy, and love in makes us more likely to get involved. However, this begs another question, what is our threshold for helping? Is there one? Does it vary? What are the variables? Where do we draw the line because of our own schedule and well-being? And is drawing that line a selfish act in itself? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS! Don't all jump at once to answer.
Now, I'm not so sure I believe that selfishness is innate (maybe for white people, jk?), but sometimes it sure seems like it is. Let's take some current events for example. In the last few months alone we've encountered tragic deaths, horrible global events, and, currently, the Baltimore Riots.
Have we felt horrible? Yes. Have we posted articles? Yes. Have we written stories? Yes. Have we led discussions? Yes. Have we shed tears? Yes. Did we turn around and watch "Parks & Rec" and eat Dairy Queen Blizzards and laugh? Oh yes. And did this cycle repeat? You bet it did.
DQ is delicious, though.
And THAT'S exactly the thing. The vast majority of us have experienced this, or a similar, cycle - having our hardest decision of the day be cookie dough or Oreo, so to speak. While others have had far different experiences. Others have not laughed once. Others have not felt safe in their homes. Others have been fighting for their lives. Is this us being selfish? Or are we doing what we can?
I don't believe this is a case of humans being horrible people. I have tons of other cases of that like how we haven't made the Backstreet Boys reunite, yet. Despite common media coverage, I do recognize that A LOT of good people come to the aid of those who need support. I know that A LOT of good people are doing good things. I understand that A LOT of people decide to venture into careers solely to improve human welfare and earth as a whole.
On the other metaphorical hand, a lot of us don't do that stuff. On the other other hand (person with three hands because inclusivity, duh) how can we resume our normal activities while we know others around us are suffering so terribly (and this is nothing new).
I get it. "The show must go on," "Time heals everything," "Get back on the horse," and other cliché quotes. Sometimes I believe these message apply. Sometimes I believe we, ourselves, do need to be happy and have our interests in mind. Other times these messages seem more like scapegoats. Maybe it's all about balance.
Do you ever think of what problems in the world could be solved if every single person did their part? Just their little part.
Long story short, I don't think selfishness comes naturally. I believe it develops over time through socialization and, in all honesty, it doesn't make you a good person just because you donate to a charity (looking at you stuck up rich people). Similarly, it doesn't make you a bad person just because you passed up a volunteer opportunity (more of a note for myself)...but taking time away from your comfortable schedule and making a conscious effort to support others does make you a hero. A hero to a lot of people. Quite frankly, right now we don't need more "good" people. It's heroes who we really need more of in the world.
Here's to putting it all in perspective. Here's to taking some time to reflect. Here's to helping others.