How many times have we heard people say, “Never cross an ocean for someone who won’t jump a puddle for you.” Countless, I guess and I am sure that you believe this mantra by now. True as this may be, I would like us to look at this issue from a different side. It is the side of the person who despite everything going on, still crosses oceans for the ungrateful. Maybe, just maybe, you may change your mind.
Nettie and I have been classmates for the past two years and to be honest, I have lost count of the number of times I have gotten her out of her self induced troubles. From writing her essays when the deadlines are in a few hours, or taking care of her when sick and being the listening ear to her thousand and one problems. You can say I have truly done it all. However, never in all my two years of knowing Nettie has she ever said ‘thank you’, or shown appreciation for any of the things I do for her. In fact, her catchphrase whenever I tell her that I cannot do what she is asking of me is, “Seyram, you know if it was you I would do it for you.” Till date I am still yet to figure out one thing that she has done for me and I am so sure in my next life I will still be figuring out what she has done for me. In spite of all of this, I still continue to do stuff for her and I know I will not stop anytime soon because I can’t.
It is obvious that she may never appreciate the things I do for her but to me it does not really matter. Why? Well, it is because I am helpful by nature. I do stuff for random strangers if it is within my means and I take every opportunity as a learning ground. For example with Nettie, I do what I do because she is my classmate. Also it helps my writing because the characters in my work can have diverse personality types like the people I meet and through this I learn.
In addition to this, I believe in the Law of Karma. Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in the like kind, thus what we sow we reap. For this reason, I do unto others what I would like them to do unto me. Karma works and it has never let me down so it motivates me to keep doing what I am doing. For instance, last weekend, I was in need of some money and I was low on snacks and my cousin, Mandy came to ask me for snacks. (Remember, I am in boarding school). I gave her what I had and so I had absolutely nothing. Two days later, my uncle and aunt came to visit and when they were leaving, they gave me more money than I even needed and snacks. See what I mean?
Another reason why I do stuff for people who may not appreciate it is because I love them. When you care about someone, it is not difficult to things for them because it is from your heart. However, in this case, you need to remember that love is life and so you care for it, nourish it and appreciate it. When you don’t, it dies; and when it dies, it is never the same. When I feel like someone is abusing the love I have for them, I show them that I am not obliged to do their bidding. I stop crossing oceans for them and start to just jump puddles. I do this because no matter how much I hate someone, I cannot totally neglect them. That is mean.
Do not think that my helpfulness makes me a doormat for people to walk all over because I am not. There is a thin line of difference between a doormat and a helpful person. A doormat cannot stand up for themselves and take whatever is handed to them. They do stuff for people even when it hurts them, a helpful person makes meaningful sacrifices and helps people in need. They do not let people walk all over them.
For me at the moment, there are three people for whom I will swim oceans, cross seas, climb mountains, jump puddles and do just about anything for. They are my parents and my brother because I love them a lot and they always have my back. I know I will keep crossing oceans everyday so I bid you farewell as I wear my swimming gear and prep my boat.
Photo Credit: healthyblackwoman.com
Seyram is a fun loving person with a selfless heart. She is 17 years old and aspires to be a lawyer. She blogs at The Diary of A Ghanaian Weirdo.