“The point is not what we expect from life, but rather what life expects from us.” -Victor Frankl
In Social Studies class, my teacher based a prompt on the following quote. What does (or should) life expect from us?
Note: I removed the first paragraph.
The following is my response:
What should life expect from me? If you asked me this a couple of years ago, I would have said it should expect nothing, that I only take from life rather than give to it. I would have told you that I was better off dead because at least my corpse would replenish the earth, would give life to new life in the form of organ donation, would stop using up resources that other people needed. I knew that so many people had expected so much from me and yet I felt that I could give them nothing. I did not expect anything from life because there was nothing there and, if it was there, I did not deserve it because I was too worthless, too weak, too pathetic.
And where am I from that day? I'm still trying to figure out the answer to that question, if I'm quite honest. Sometimes, I still feel like I did before although I know that feeling isn't logical. There is one thing, of many, that I am sure of, though. Life can expect that I will never try to intentionally hurt a living creature, and that I will do everything I can to help them. A hug, an ear, advice, love, comfort, a smile, whatever… I’ll do it. I’ll do anything I can to make sure that no one feels alone or sad (when I said, “other creatures” I meant it. I’ll always hug my dog after my dad yells at her. Always). Life can expect that I will always be passionate about everything I do. Life can expect some poems and writings from me about these things that matter to me; it can expect all of the thoughts and creativity that comes with that. Life can expect my time, effort and “my parents’ money” (or my own, when I actually get a job). Maybe I can even start up a charity (something with books, I presume. Building schools in third-world countries? Starting up some sort of program in the inner city? Running a bunch of book drives? The possibilities are endless.
I disagree with the notion that you should expect nothing from life but rely on what life expects from you. It should be a combination of both, a reciprocal relationship. Neither notion should be relied on too heavily. I expect, or more so, demand, that life and the people in my life make me happy and treat me with respect. The rest is irrelevant. Everyone should expect that and they should expect the world around them to deliver fully. Sadly, that doesn't happen but I believe that it is possible.
I suppose life doesn't even know what to expect from me. I don’t know what to expect from me. But I’m trying to figure it out.