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.