I hope you all are well.
Pretty common greeting, huh? It seems to be what I receive pretty much all the time nowadays. And usually, I respond with "yes, me and my family are well", "oh I'm well how are you", or some other lie.
Because that's what I do. I lie about how I'm doing. But, I don't think I'm the only one out there who lies about how they're doing. I really don't think ANYBODY is truly doing well at the moment. At least fully. I know I'm not. My mood is kind of like a sine wave that peaks when I'm busy and crests as I try to sleep.
I recently picked up my journal and finally wrote a new entry, because for months I hadn't been able to bear writing anything, when the entries before had been these untainted and beautiful accounts, so to speak, of what I had before. I don't handle change well. I feel it very deeply and fearfully, unfortunately.
And recently, I've been like a caged bird -- everyone watching everything I do and judging most moves. I get guilted about when I so much as step foot outside of the house. So I've found myself confined to my room a lot, like rapunzel.
It has been hard, and I've found many a moment where I've lost hope in things. And, I won't lie and say that those moments are going to end for me, because, again, my mood is a sine wave. But, despite all that, I want to try and inspire some hope both in myself and you guys.
I find that my hope through this virus has laid in kindness.
Just when I'm starting to feel bad, I find that it is the kindness of others which rejuvenates my spirits. But more so, the kindness I am able to give to others.
I've spent a lot of time working on circuits this summer, trying to improve the condition of my students (as some of you know all too well, since you've seen the daily stuff produced by me), and while it is extremely exhausting to do this, it is extremely fulfilling. I feel as though what I do matters, that someone will remember this and it will help change their life for the better.
And so, I would like to talk a little bit about human kindness and decency, and some of the things I think you guys need to hear.
No, this is not going to be a religious talk even though a lot of my views on this do stem from there. Instead, I want to talk about how kindness has affected me over time.
Kindness has the power to save you.
Confused by what I mean? I don't blame you. I say this both in the sense that kindness can save a life in extreme cases, but also in the sense that it can improve a life, which to me can sometimes be thought of as saving it.
I've had many particular instances of this, as I am sure you have. One of the first I can think of, being my high school gov and econ teacher letting people around me know that she was worried because I was in severe mental distress over AP exams. Her intervention helped rescue my self esteem potentially for the rest of my life because my friends came and got me in the middle of a very, very bad situation. The same, of course goes to my grandfather, and my EE mentor Keith who both have given me internships over the years and are the reason I began my journey as an electrical engineer. And, of course, who can forget my department mentors -- my circuits professor and the primary advisor of ECE, who had concern for my well being in a time where they didn't know things were wrong with me. Yes, a lot of these are school and work related, but unfortunately, I don't have as much of this in my personal life.
These, however, are what are given by other people. And you can never truly count on other people to help you, or so I believe. (But let's table that point for later because I will discuss it after this).