What Makes People Deserve Awards?

Daily Prompt: Person of the Year

June 13, 2013

You’re asked to nominate someone for TIME’s Person of the Year. Who would it be, and why?

I don’t know all that much about politics. My general knowledge and awareness barely covers things like the unrest in Turkey and Edward Snowden’s uncovering of the NSA’s spying activity. So no, I don’t think I’m qualified, rather, aware enough, to name anyone as person of the year.

But I am keenly aware of what people I know have been through this past year. Several friends have struggled with their education, my roommate has had on-again, off-again depression because of a guy she’s seeing, and yet another friend questioned humanity itself, saying we don’t deserve to exist. I’ve seen nearly everyone I know, whether I like them or not, fight their own battles. One friend lost a father a year ago, another  has fought her weight and managed to lose some, and so on and so forth.

I looked up today’s Figment Daily Theme a while ago:

Your Daily Theme for June 12, 2013
A writer must learn empathy, that ability to fully understand the emotional life of others. Yes, even those we find depressing, boring, or plain old annoying. It’s that understanding of others that helps us shape compelling, three-dimensional characters.

Take a peek at the News Feed of someone you once hid on Facebook, or unfollowed on Twitter, and select a particularly grating recent post (Maybe: “Off to Zimbabwe then Paris! Pictures to follow! Send me a postcard from wherever you are!”), then write at least 500 words in the voice of that person about that post, in a way that helps you better understand him/her without anger, annoyance, or judgment.

…and was stumped. I trawled through old friends’ walls, searching for something good to use to spur my writing. That’s when I realized how much I’d changed. I was spending time with people I really connected with now, people who cared about me too. I was open to new experiences, and more confident about myself and my abilities. As a result, I was  less constricted, much happier, and a more developed, mature person than I’d been a while ago.
So I dedicate my allocated CyberAward of the Year to all of us. We have all grown this past year, no matter what the cause, what the field and what the reason. We have improved our lives and, whether we realized it or not, also had an impact on the lives of those around us. Just ask a friend and see, I dare you to. And isn’t that what this award is about? To have brought about a change in the world, one that affected others and was appreciated? You are an inspiration to several because of how far you’ve come.
Go ahead, take that badge and pin it on. You deserve it.

Why I Hate Analgesics (But Love Being Sick)

Daily Prompt: Take Care

 June 11, 2013

When you’re unwell, do you allow others to take care of you, or do you prefer to soldier on alone? What does it take for you to ask for help?

The past few years, I made the decision to forego the use of painkillers of the cough-and-cold variety. I wanted to build up my own strength and tolerance levels. I believe that the existence of conveniences is not reason enough for their exploitation, and that sometimes the hard route is better in the long run. Recently, I was sick enough that I had to go against my personal rule and take some medication. It felt like I was bending somehow, and that’s when I realized that what I had thought was my way of becoming stronger was actually partly based in pride – not taking medicine made me feel like I was better somehow, stronger than those who did.

In general, when unwell, I shy away from help because I dislike feeling like a burden or that I’m inconveniencing anyone. I dislike being in anyone’s debt – again, pride.

It takes crippling “unwellness” for me to ask for help. Only when I am unable to function, or when there is something I need significantly more than my intact ego, do I turn to others for help. When I get help, however, it brings tears to my eyes. It makes me feel loved. It takes me back to my childhood when I loved falling sick, because it meant that my mother would feed me, take care of me, and in general make me feel loved. Help makes me believe the best of people again.

In the end I question myself: why do I dislike asking for help, really? Is it the pride, is it because I don’t want to burden anyone, or is it because I truly want to increase my physical pain threshold? Or maybe, and this just occurred to me, is it because I want to increase my emotional pain threshold? Because I don’t want to feel like a child, a dependant, don’t want to feel loved too often, don’t want to lose the preciousness, borne of rarity, of the relief that comes from knowing, with every cell in your body, that you’re loved.

Take care, Friend.

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