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I'm Kyle, and I forget when I start my laundry. Also, I am a small human being and apparently a college student. I laugh a lot - usually in my brain, and usually when nobody else laughs. Oh, and I've probably consumed more Skittles than any other human being on planet earth.
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I Got Nothin', I'm Too Tired: A Blog Post

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

(Listen, here's the thing - the month ends tomorrow, and tomorrow starts in seven minutes. I have been focusing pretty intently on school as of late [just survived another semester. word.], which has led to a significant lack of potential blog topics. Now, I realize this is a rarely read blog, and nobody has actually noticed this, but I apologize nonetheless. So, with all of this school nonsense on my mind, I decided simply to post a little snippet from one of my papers. You're reading it out of context, so, uh....sorry....and you should know that this guilt I mention is from an incredibly silly/ridiculous incident in my life, not something that would typically be guilt-inducing, at least not to the degree it has been. The focus of this class was compassion, or literature of compassion, or compassion and suffering. It really just depended on the day. Also, please forgive my strange dashes everywhere - I'm addicted to them and I don't care who knows. Also, you may notice that this paper, or this portion of it, doesn't sound very academic. Deal with it, academia is a joke.)

(Update: tomorrow now starts in negative 19 minutes.)

            In like manner, we run from fate, we run from suffering, but we fail to realize that we will always be outrun. That which we fear will meet us. We cannot continue to run:
“For fear, real fear, such as shakes you to your foundation, such as you feel when you are brought face to face with your mortal end, nestles in your memory like a gangrene: it seeks to rot everything, even the words with which to speak of it. So you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don’t, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you. (Life of Pi, 162)
Instead of running from fate and avoiding suffering, perhaps we would do well to rush headlong into fate, and accept the suffering coming our way. For, whether we are ready to accept it or not, it will come, and it will not stop to ask questions.
            Compassion allows for this, for fate to do its worst, and for suffering to take its toll. With compassion, pain is temporary, setbacks are not set in stone, and progress is always possible. Learning to be compassionate means having compassion for others, and having compassion for self; it means loving patiently, forgiving consistently, and helping tirelessly. Compassion for others means their concerns are your concerns, their success is your success - their pain your pain. Compassion for self means forgiving oneself, learning to be self-sufficient and self-reliant, and yet accepting the help and hope and forgiveness offered to you by another. Compassion means standing tall in the face of the storm, and accepting suffering as the weathering effects necessary for a smooth, polished, and enduring existence.
            I have carried guilt and shame with me for years, and have never sought to remove them from my life. They were reminders of a bad decision, and necessary barriers designed to shame me into shaping up. Only now do I realize that ‘shaping up’ requires compassion, that pretending to suffer – which is what I have been doing, attempting to create an artificial and superficial suffering by holding past decisions over my head – means nothing, but learning to stand tall through real suffering is where true strength of character is forged. Developing compassion prepares one for life; prepares one to say yes to life - to say yes to that which life expects, and to have the courage to have expectations of life. 
            Perhaps expectations really are just premeditated resentments, and it is not wise to expect much from life, or from those around you. Perhaps expectations are just a na├»ve trick of the gullible mind. But I refuse to believe it. I am learning, now, that developing compassion affords one the opportunity to have expectations – to have expectations of life, of self, and of others. You see, a person striving for compassion – a person expanding to include more and more – will not resent unmet expectations, but will lift one who has fallen short, whether it be themselves or someone else, and will always find meaning in life’s refusal to comply. We create resentments when we selfishly assume we have been wronged; it is not the unmet expectations themselves that we resent, simply the unmet cravings - the unsatisfied demands. Resentments spring from selfishness, compassion allows for none. Resentment is a bitter pill that brings jealously, bitterness, and more resentment; suffering is a bitter cup that, while painful, is filled with meaning and leads to compassion, help, and hope.

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