Thursday, 21 September 2017

"You’re such an amazing person!"

I am told on an almost daily basis “Oh you’re such an amazing person!”. This bothers the shit out of me. Like, REALLY makes me super uncomfortable. Weird right? I don't know, maybe. I mean, compliments in general make me feel icky. There seems to be some sort of overhanging social transaction type thing where Person A says something nice and uplifting to Person B and Person B is supposed to return the favour or show gratitude for the nicety. Why? I mean, if you think someone’s hair looks pretty, great. Let them know. They might thank you, they might agree with you, they might ignore you entirely. That’s their choice. Obviously, it’s unpleasant to be ignored when you do good shit but if you NEED to have your goodness acknowledged then guess what? You’re not really that good! 

I do good stuff. I know that. I don’t want applause. It’d be great if the person who received from me could then pass it on to another but I don’t get to dictate what someone else should do. 

Here are some good things I have done in the past and why I did them:

I sent £10 worth of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream to my best friend in all the world. Why did I do this? I did this because I love this woman more than any other human being in the entire world and she is one of the very few people I would literally take a bullet for. I did this because she asked and I was able. She showed exceptional gratitude towards me. She posted about it on Facebook because it made her feel so happy. That’s great. I wouldn’t have been bothered had she just taken the order, ate it with a grin on her face and said nothing because that’s not why I did it. I did it because I could. 

I donated a sum of money to a show. Why did I do this? I didn’t exactly have the money going spare as such (no money is really spare for me). I did it because the producer of this show is one of the most passionate people I have ever come across in my entire life. They have faced many adversities in the time I have known them, all of which were undeserved, and they have taken them in their stride. I did it because I have seen this person so utterly broken and bereft by the way society behaves. I did it because I believe in this person so damn much and if I could have given more, I would have.  I did it because I know that the money will go way further than I could even imagine and that pleases me. I did it because I could.

I went to Calais to help sort refugee aid in the warehouse. Why did I do this? I did this because I know what it’s like to have nothing. I know what it’s like to escape from my home with just the clothes on my back. I did it because I have felt the fear in my bones that I might not be alive tomorrow. I have never felt any of those things to the same extent as someone fleeing their war ravaged country but I have felt them. I did it because I could.

I made a box for someone struggling with their mental health. The box contains items designed to help them come to terms with their illness and manage it effectively. Why did I do this? I did this because I know what it is like to fumble through life not knowing what the HECK is happening. I did it because I know how hard it is to understand that all brains function in different ways. I did it because I know how utterly soul destroying it feels to have no one to turn to when it is so dark you cant see your own hand an inch from your face. I did it because seeing this person suffer causes me physical pain. I did it because I could.

I helped out a friend who needed someone to take her little one to school for a week, bring them home and make them dinner. Why did I do this? I did it because she needed someone. I did it because at the time, I had no job, no money and no happiness. I did it because that is what I do for a living. I did it because I could. 

I sat and had a conversation with a homeless man on Christmas Eve. It was cold and miserable. He was sat in the subway with his dog. Why did I do this? I did this because everyone else walked by pretending they didn’t see him. I did this because I could see the desperate need for connection in his eyes. I did it because I could.

I stopped a guy beating the shit out of his girlfriend and took the beating for myself. Why did I do this? I did this because I was her once and no one took my beating. I did this because her screams for help cut me to my soul. I did this because I knew if he punched her one more time he could have easily killed her. I did it because I could. 

I decided not to help an ex boyfriend’s new girlfriend get a rape conviction for a rape he didn’t commit. He raped me but he didn’t rape her. I could have seen him go to prison. I could have had the last laugh but I didn’t. Why did I do this? I did it because that is not how justice works. Having someone falsely imprisoned for a rape they didn’t commit wouldn’t erase the pain and hurt he caused me. People tell me “well he WAS a rapist”. Yes he was but him serving time for a rape he didn’t commit so that he could atone for a rape he did commit is not justice. It was my personal choice to not report the things he did to me. I did it because I could.

I have written this blog for 7 years now. It has been read the world over. I have received hundreds of messages of gratitude. Why do I do this? I do it because it helps me process my own confusing world. I do it because I know that there are more people out there trying to make sense of their own confusing worlds. I do it so that others with similar feelings know that they're not alone. I do it because I can.

Am I a good person? Sure. Sometimes. Am I an amazing person? No, not really. 

Good should be the default setting for people. I do things because I can. There are many other things I could do but they are simply not possible because I don't have the time/money/resources. I don’t consider any of my actions above as amazing. Not even slightly. I did these things because they were the right thing to do. I did these things because I had the time/money/resources to do them. That’s not amazing, that’s just decent.

When people tell me how amazing my actions are, it saddens me. It saddens me because people have such low expectations of one another. It saddens me because people often have the time/money/resources to do things for others, they simply choose not to. It saddens me because I know the person that I am and I know the bad things that I have done. I don't want anything in return for doing things that I am capable of.

If more people did good things because they could, the world would be a much nicer place for us all to live in.

Do good stuff because you can!

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