“To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.” said Robert Morley. It is true, of course, unless and until we start loving ourselves and accepting our flaws, we wouldn’t be able to love other things wholeheartedly. It does require time because the best things never happen in the blink of an eye, but we must never lose our hopes and should always keep embracing and improving by focusing on the brighter side, because nothing is impossible.
In my case, I am devoted to doing acts of compassion, more than anything else. I am fond of many more things, like family, creativity, knowledge, loyalty, honesty, ambition, determination etc. but I devote myself to being compassionate the most. It influences each and every aspect of my life, and it has taught me many things starting from valuing happiness to appreciating the concept of failure.
Yes, it’s true to life that a year ago, I had the fondest feelings on receiving the highest grades in class, but a year of isolation from school and virtual exploration of the world demonstrated to me that life is not composed of grades and this realization made me happier. An ugly behemoth named ‘comparison’ used to have a gala time with me in his stomach, who was invisible but lived amongst us (by ‘us’ I mean my fellow classmates), but I learnt during this phase what truly matters.
Even this period of schooling had a brighter side and a darker side: Brighter side being that I learnt many lessons, gained knowledge and inspirations – from speeches, books, memoirs, journals, articles, advices. This became the ladder for me to climb out of the behemoth’s body. Darker side being that it came at the cost of my eyes – from perfectly fine ones to having quite a high negative power. Nevertheless, I didn’t lose hope nor my spirits, kept both of them high, accepted and loved my flaws and moved on with steady focus on the brighter side.
I once asked myself, as another soul, to my heart: “Even though you say you hate the concept of grading, then why do you value knowledge?”. I was stunned giving rise to such a question to my heart. Meanwhile, my mind thought hard with no points having a way to each other in order to find the destination: the answer. A bizarre feeling struck me which felt as if my heart was responding in the most infrequent way, and mysteriously enough, it did. I heard my voice answering – “Having knowledge and getting grades are two totally different concepts, you have more knowledge in doing acts of compassion than Science subject or any other.” That moment was quite awkward but it gave way to a belief – even though at the very moment I physically can’t help a grief-stricken person, I can just give a radiant smile, because just a smile can heal more wounds than any money can ever do.
To be honest, in focusing on being compassionate, my grades did fall a little this year, but I don’t care anymore, because I learnt from a dear one who once said to me “Don’t bother. People throw stones when they don’t like something rather than improving themselves or understanding the situation of the other person. Keep doing what you do. It does affect you as you are small, so the best way is to keep yourself busy doing something.” Now, I follow each and every word of this precious advice and focus on the brighter side: Being compassionate, doing acts of compassion & helping this world to be a better place.
That’s what makes me unique, different from every soul in this universe.
That’s what makes me, ME.
// This essay has been penned by Reetika De of Grade 7, Loyola School Bhubaneswar, and has been chosen for publication on our platform from the weekly submissions //