“Don’t be so selfish,” my mom would chide whenever I refuse to help or whenever I refuse to share food with somebody. I hated being called that because I feel like that’s all I’ve been doing my whole life – sharing and never getting enough for myself.
In my opinion, no one is born selfish. It doesn’t matter whether we’re born an only child or among siblings. We become selfish through impactful events as well as ours and others’ life choices.
The three biggest events that led to my so-call selfishness were:
- When my mom left me for the U.S when I was seven
- When my mom left me for Utah when I was fifteen
- When my mom left me for the army when I was sixteen
All three events changed me in a profound way. I don’t think I’d be the same person today if any one of those events did not occur.
I know not many can remember much about when they were young, especially before 7 (according to science). Strangely, though I don’t have any one clear memory of the time, I can remember being happy, being pampered, being spoiled with doll houses, Barbie dolls, and girl stuff. Then right before my 7th birthday, I was catapulted into a strange universe where I had to abandon my life of luxury and soft mattresses for a life of sleeping with my grandmother on a bamboo bed and being treated like a second-class citizen by my grandfather.
It was an eye-opener even to a child. I became this stingy person, someone who refused to share anything with anyone because of the fear that that person would take it all away.
I am still struggling with being stingy sometimes but I think, for the most part, it’s stingy for myself. For example, I’d rather cook at home than indulge myself eating at a restaurant but I suppose that’s more about frugality than stinginess.
In the last couple of years, I have been working on being generous, giving back to the community from time-to-time. I participated in serving a community Thanksgiving dinner and enjoyed it very much. I also donate to charities when I can, usually to organizations that are dedicated to preserve Earth and wildlife. I think those are great causes and as a fellow inhabitant, it’s our responsibility to make sure this planet is well taken care of for future generations.
Theme: Of all the things I am
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