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Hi, I'm Daryl. And I like to think that I'm a good person. But, sometimes I have my doubts. Here's why. I was taught at a young age to respect women, share with others, and be kind. Check, check and check. So why do I not feel like a good person? I’ve heard from somewhere that nice people don’t look for anything in return. Well, that’s half-right. I’m not looking for something physical, like a gift, or money. I’m looking for recognition. These past 2 years at school, I’ve always been the guy with food to spare. So, soon I became known as “the guy with a kitchen in his backpack.” I shared with everyone and anyone. I liked that. I liked being known; recognized. But, it felt wrong. Maybe it was the fact that the food my parents bought was being used to feed other mouths, or the fact that no one asked to stop why.


Why do I share? Why am I being so kind? Not gonna lie, if I was in that situation, I wouldn’t know what to say. But I know now. I share because I believe kindness is the best thing you can share. I’m so kind to others because I am familiar with the saying, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” But, no one cares about that. They got their food, and that’s all they wanted. No closure for me, but food for them. Now, I’m not resentful towards these people; in fact, I feel like it makes us closer friends. But, sometimes I feel like my kindness is overlooked. I go to a school where the kids there are both ruthless and selfish. Kinda harsh, but there are some good people. But for most of them, it’s the same story. Fend for yourself. Nobody matters but you. And I get that, some people aren’t that open to the idea of being that person. I am. But, for some reason, they look the same, if not better off with being selfish. They even get the same (probably more) recognition than the guy who’s nice to everyone.


I’m not perfect though, because I remember a story from 4th or 5th grade that I’ve never looked back on until just now when I was writing this story. There was this kid named Ryan. I’m not giving myself a pass, but everyone HATED this kid. Even our teacher. I kid you not, he was the reason she took 2 Advils some days. But, I told myself I wasn’t gonna be like everyone else, yet it happened. I remember being very passive-aggressive towards him, but never straight up mean. Jokingly mean, kind of. That’s not to say I never talked bad about him. I did. And I’m sorry. So, Ryan if you’re reading this, I apologize for anything I caused. That isn’t to say I haven’t had my good moments too.


There was this kid, Zachary, that I knew in elementary school, and he was… a controversial kid, to say the least. Associating with him, meant odd looks and a LOT of questions. But, my parents knew his Mom, and I was cool with him. So, we were at Lunch, and I finished everything to eat, except the water. I wasn’t parched, but thirsty nonetheless. But Zachary had no water, (not to mention a kidney problem) so when he asked for my water I obliged. I felt like a Good Samaritan. Even though he had to mention the kidney thing to get the water. But I would’ve given it anyway; I wasn’t that thirsty.


So, I guess that’s one thing. I didn’t look for any recognition at that point, because to me, knowing that I saved a life (I doubt you could fully call it that) was good enough for me. So, why have I felt recently that recognition is what I need? I’ve gotten this far without it. I guess it’s because I feel like no one cares. Maybe they don’t. Maybe they do. But, lately, I’ve felt like they just don’t care. People in general, I mean. I know this one kid, let’s say his name is S. So, S is kinda my friend, I consider him a kinda friend because he’s tried to take advantage of my kindness. Nothing serious, just for the occasional extra piece of food. But, sometimes he’s taken it too far. Smart move on him, because I’m too nice to do anything about it. Even some food I REALLY wanted for myself, I still begrudgingly accepted. Am I a bad person for that? Being a little peeved to share with a kid I know just because I wanted food? I don’t know. It’s just nice to get a pat on the back once in a while.


I wish I kept track of how many times I’ve given food to random people, for the sake of being kind. I’d probably be rich, or comfortable enough, at least. Now, I’m not saying I should get a pat on the back for everything, but in the heat of all the stuff in society and media, people should be surprised that I’m still that same kind person, even now. See, now I sound cocky or egotistical. I’m willing to admit, at some points, I’ve been VERY self-centered. I try not to let it become a part of me, but it happens. However, ask anyone I know, and they’ll tell you I seem like a selfless person. Keyword, SEEM. I mean, I am, but not all the time. I’ve had my fair share of selfish moments too.


Like, one time I’ve stolen candy from a teacher that I know WASN’T for me. Or the time I stole a COUNTY ASSESSMENT ANSWER KEY. That one is excused personally by me, because I did end up sharing it, and helped, I’d say 15 to 40-ish people pass the test. Just a ballpark guess. But that shouldn’t be excused because it’s still stealing. I know that. But, so did Robin Hood. Steal from the rich, give to the poor. I’m not comparing myself to Robin Hood, but he’s seen as a hero. You know why? Because he was given his recognition.


He’s not real, but still. I’m not saying do nice things for recognition, I’m saying do them because you know it’s right. Even though no recognition hurts, just know that good things will happen to you. They may not come instantly, but when it happens, you’ll realize you never wanted recognition in the first place.


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73 comments

Nirosha P
05:24 Jul 18, 2020

A fantastic story. Keep it up! :)

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Daryl Gravesande
16:07 Jul 18, 2020

Thanks! :)

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Cece Lin
21:40 Jul 28, 2020

There were so many moments where I was like "Oh damn. This sounds awfully familiar to my life-." Oops... You're a fantastic writer. :)

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04:42 Jul 10, 2020

I know this has nothing to do with your great story but I also like The Office (lovee the office) New Girl, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, The Spectacular Now, and Lady Bird too!! You obviously have very good taste :P

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Daryl Gravesande
12:20 Jul 11, 2020

Yess maammmmm, I do!

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Laura Clark
08:44 Jul 04, 2020

This feels like the origin story of a villain! Someone who starts of being nice but gets taken advantage of one too many times. If this a true story though, it’s very kind of you!

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Daryl Gravesande
04:39 Jul 05, 2020

Thanksss!

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Rhondalise Mitza
22:43 Jun 26, 2020

A great personal essay! Check check check, General! Glad to see you back on Reedsy.

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Daryl Gravesande
02:01 Jun 27, 2020

Ha, thanks!

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Laiba M
17:45 Jul 13, 2020

This was amazing, Daryl!! We haven't talked in a while :) I love the ending! One question, are these true stories? If so, I love how you used your own life to display a message! If not, these situations were nicely written! How have you been doing?

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Daryl Gravesande
20:26 Jul 13, 2020

They are real and I've been good, just busy, lol.

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Laiba M
20:39 Jul 13, 2020

Oh, wow, that's really cool! I'm actually glad you responded~ Rhondalise asked me to see if you would reply because you haven't replied to her recently and she thought you might be busy. She also told me about the show you two have been working on, good luck with that :)

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Daryl Gravesande
21:12 Jul 13, 2020

Awww, thanks!

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Laiba M
01:31 Jul 14, 2020

No problem!! Let me know how it's going every now and then, I'd love to hear -w-

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Daryl Gravesande
01:39 Jul 14, 2020

Awww, thanks! And I'll try to!

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22:16 Jul 12, 2020

Good story Daryl! It felt so real. A very emotional story. I was waiting for more work from you! :-)

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Daryl Gravesande
20:26 Jul 13, 2020

Awww, thanks!

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Rhondalise Mitza
20:32 Jul 11, 2020

Hey, you writing anything for this weeks prompts?

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Daryl Gravesande
04:20 Jul 12, 2020

Ummm, maybe...

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Rhondalise Mitza
04:47 Jul 12, 2020

Okay, cool... just curious. I may not but I did start on the next episode.

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Daryl Gravesande
20:26 Jul 13, 2020

okie, that's fine

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Avani Gupta
01:43 Jul 11, 2020

Wow! Great personal essay! It showed me a lot about your character! ;)

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Daryl Gravesande
12:20 Jul 11, 2020

Thanks! I hope you see my character as good, lol.

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Avani Gupta
15:17 Jul 11, 2020

Yeah, of course, haha!

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Daryl Gravesande
04:20 Jul 12, 2020

Thanks!

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Deborah Angevin
11:39 Jul 09, 2020

A fresh take on the prompt, Daryl! I loved reading it! Would you mind checking my recent story out too? Thank you :)

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Daryl Gravesande
12:54 Jul 09, 2020

Sure! No problem!

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Charles Stucker
00:52 Jul 07, 2020

I think this might have worked better as a set of 3rd person scenes. Maybe have his mom asking why he keeps giving away his food in one and he explains he can't help it- it feels like what he's supposed to do. Your first person feels like the character is doing stream of consciousness. By the end, it almost feels like he is confessing in preparation to doing something less than nice for recognition.

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Daryl Gravesande
11:09 Jul 07, 2020

Oh, it's because it was more of a real life confession than a story.

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Yageen Faiz
14:48 Jul 06, 2020

hello! can you read one of my stories if you have time? thank you!

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Daryl Gravesande
15:14 Jul 06, 2020

Yesss I willlll!

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Bella K
17:35 Jul 04, 2020

Hi Daryl! This was an amazing story! Is your profile picture of Michael from the Office? I love that show! Anyway I am new to writing and I am writing my first story and posting it this week. If you wouldn't mind checking it out I would love that!

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Daryl Gravesande
04:40 Jul 05, 2020

Yesss, I will!

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Anika !
13:33 Jul 04, 2020

really good

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Daryl Gravesande
04:40 Jul 05, 2020

Thanks!

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Anna Chidiac
12:54 Jul 04, 2020

It is difficult to be good and kind, sometimes. But I think that's part of what makes it an admirable trait. If you do it despite the fact that it's sometimes difficult, that's admirable and worthy of recognition. :)

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Daryl Gravesande
04:40 Jul 05, 2020

EXACTLY. You get it, thanks for this comment Anna, you get it.

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Joseph Varkis
09:35 Jul 04, 2020

Nice thoughts. Keep doing good. Who knows? Perhaps your "recognition" will come next week. ;)

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Daryl Gravesande
04:39 Jul 05, 2020

Ha, thanks!

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Arya Preston
18:26 Jul 03, 2020

I think the personal connection to the story really added to the experience of reading it. I could easily feel certain emotions because it was real, that was a very unique take on the prompt! Loved it :)

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Daryl Gravesande
01:11 Jul 04, 2020

Thanks!

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Arya Preston
15:16 Jul 06, 2020

No problem! If you get the time, could you please read mine?

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Daryl Gravesande
16:12 Jul 06, 2020

YESSS MAAAAMMMM

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Evelyn Cloonan
21:01 Jul 02, 2020

Aww this was such a sweet story! I loved hearing about you and it really touched my heart. It seems very personal to you and I would love to read more stories like this. Keep writing! -Evelyn

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Daryl Gravesande
01:14 Jul 04, 2020

Thanks, Evelyn!!!

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Sayani Sarkar
19:23 Jul 02, 2020

I love how honest this is and so blatantly true. We are always conflicted a bit in some things. Like we want to be good people,we are good people,but it wouldn't hurt if people recognized us for it. And it's conflicting as to if wanting that is selfish or not. We can only believe in karma and hope that some day it'll pay off, again ironically that's not solely why we want to be nice but oh well!

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Daryl Gravesande
01:12 Jul 04, 2020

Wowwww, thank you for this!!! I was wondering if anyone else feels this way, and this confirmed that! Love this comment!!!

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Batool Hussain
05:21 Jul 02, 2020

Hello! This is such a wonderful story. I love the way you decided to write the story on your own self! No kidding. My favourite part was probably you getting the Answer Key and then sharing it with others. Great story! Keep it up🌸

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Daryl Gravesande
01:11 Jul 04, 2020

Wowww! Thank you!

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Batool Hussain
17:35 Jul 06, 2020

You're welcome! Could you check out my new story and share your views on it? Thanks.

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Daryl Gravesande
11:09 Jul 07, 2020

Sure!

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