The Love We Give
The Hate We Take

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Let's do a test. Imagine you are holding a door open for somebody. They then walk through without a "thank you" or an acknowledgement of your existence. Would you be annoyed? Probably. 

But the more important question is: would this incident affect you from holding the door open next time?

A former self had an unpleasant feeling in my heart when this exact thing happened and it prevented me from opening doors so freely. Now, not opening doors for people is a small act, but if you answered yes to the last question, this behavior could be a symptom of a bigger character problem that will immensely detriment your life - as it did mine.

I realized that if being kind, respectful and loving is dependent on reciprocation, then we're always going to be imprisoned by others. If indeterminable external factors could define you as a person, you are nothing more than a product.

And that was what I was. I let one person's act of unkindness continue into a greater cycle of unkindness. What if the next person I held the door open for could have been a future best friend or business partner? I have then unknowingly let that negative person take that from me.

For people I didn't know well, I was always cold, but comforted myself by telling myself it was cool, but in hindsight I was avoidant because I lacked the power to have self control over my emotions and behave in a self-assured manner. I was stuck in a negativity loop. That ain't cool, and I wanted to be so much more than that. 

For this reason, I never took initiative, was so bad with people, and others just all-up felt uncomfortable around me. Through this I lost a lot of life opportunities.

So the turning point of my life came from a slight pivot change on how I saw this incident with the door and this was the lesson.

We must be a loving person just because that is who we believe is our intrinsic best self and not because we need to be validated. If holding a door is dependent on a "thank you", then our need for validation partially invalidates our character.

So in that way you are holding the door even moreso for yourself than for the other. This subtle pivot declares that your kindness, respect, love:
  1. Is something you only need to validate for yourself
  2. Is intrinsically steadfast to your character
  3. Remains hopeful and untouchable in the face of adverse factors 
That is true class. If you can master it, it separate you from rest and people will see it. But know that none of this is about status, but about having decency. It is also about dedication, because love calls for dedication. How I like to think of this is always carrying yourself as a professional, regardless of what your legitimate profession of work is.

When all of this comes naturally - not to impress anyone, but because this is simply who you are, then you have made it. This is hard - but we need to remind ourselves that although not always getting it right and self-doubt may be common for us, it is healthy to a degree, if learning is the outcome.

So be encouraged by knowing that your acts of love belong to yourself, feeds your soul, and allows you to output a positive energy into the world that is precious and will eventually attract and input the same bright energy and people into your world.

But I also must note that this is not to the exclusion of anything.You must be prudent and guard your heart. If you find something disrespectful, or if someone is disrespectful to you, the best thing to do is to remove yourself from that person or environment, and always be at your best, or at least as much as possible.

Finally, if are one who is/has experienced serious hurt in your life, I acknowledge your pain, but still want to remind you with the best intentions that you have the power to break the cycle. The energy you put into continuing the cycle of hatred can be taken and harnessed for something that will instead start building the world around you that you want.

That is - the love we give. The hate we take - are you ready to start building your best world?

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2 comments

  1. Great read - wise beyond your years.

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  2. Hi Jono. Thank you so much for sharing this. As someone who also has a hard time opening myself up to others, it is encouraging to know that someone like you is also on the same journey, and trying to encourage others to hold themselves to a admirable standard.

    -Ben

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