Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Meaning of Youth and Altruism

Don't try to be too good, she said, it will kill your youth.

Words spoken while I was washing out the bottles, cans, and assorted things to put in the recycle bin.

Spoken during a Super Bowl party. While everyone else was enjoying themselves, I was quite happy to be washing out the bottle to be recycled.

I could psychoanalyze the meaning behind the words and not accomplish a thing.

So here's what I took out out it.

I'm not TRYING to be anything. Trying to be something you're not isn't altruism; it's narcissism. It's selfishness, not selflessness.

When I'm stressed out, I do manual labor. The first thing I do in any crisis is laundry. I'm good at it. I succeed well at it and feel a sense of accomplishment.

I appreciate the sentiment, but for me, I'm not trying to kill my youth. I'm not sure if youth is a condition or a state of being. I'm more inclined to think the latter. Those of us who try too hard to be whatever it is we think we ought to be and then have our mid-life crises may regret our youth or what we didn't do.

But I've pulled a lot out of this past stressful month. It has made me quite a bit stronger.

As I said earlier, we worship the religion of LOVE, not MONEY or FAME or all those other things that other people might strive for in the days of their youth, whatever youth is.

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