Some say that mankind is complex beyond comprehension. I cannot, of course, speak for every other individual on this earth, but I do not believe that I am a very difficult person to understand. My life is based upon two very simple, sweeping philosophies: pragmatism in actions and idealism in thought. Thus, with these two attitudes, I characterize myself. Pragmatism in actions. I believe utterly in one of those old cliches: we are given only a limited time upon this earth and every moment wasted is lost forever. Therefore, I do not engage in those things that I view as useless. The next question is obvious. What do I view as useless? In reality, perhaps too many things and definitely too many to address in one essay.
However, I can indulge in the discussion of a few. Hate is a wasted emotion. Hate accomplishes nothing. It does not relieve hunger. It does not alleviate pain. It creates only avoidable aggression. I do not believe in any kind of hate, including prejudice and racism. My energies and time can be better spent elsewhere. Anger too. What does anger do? Nothing. It frustrates us and aggravates us, and we can avoid it. Being frustrated is not a pleasing experience for me. When I was young, or rather, when I was younger than I am now, I would explode at the smallest disturbances (I’m sorry mom and dad). Now, I have realized that anger is a waste of time, and I no longer have a temper to lose. I would much rather wallow in happiness. And in my happiness, I do not worry much over my image in the eyes of others.
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The important word here is much, for there are opinions of certain individuals about which I do care a great deal, but these are few. They include my family, my close friends, and those who possess the power to affect my life significantly (for example, university admissions officers). Otherwise, I pay no attention to whispers behind my back or vague rumors circulating in the air above. As long as I know the truth, however harsh it may be, and those that I care about know the truth, I am not troubled. The masses may think as they wish. They are entitled. As can probably be observed from this essay thus far, my outlook on life saves me more than a bit of stress. I hate no one, I am never angry, and I really don’t care what most other people believe. It is quite a calming experience. Have no fear though, stress pierces my existence from many other venues.
And now for the other half of my personality. I am a hardcore idealist (and very naive). I believe that I can change the world, and I intend to. Either one man at a time, or a generation at a time, I will leave my stamp emblazoned upon humanity. I maintain that there lies in man the ability to accomplish anything and everything. Nothing is impossible. But before changing the world, we must learn to change ourselves. And here enter another one of my theories. There are two stages in resolving a problem, and they are both equally important. First, the problem must be identified and recognized. Then, the solution may be found. I know that my profound theory sounds ridiculous and obvious, but many people never even pass the first level. They know something is wrong and they complain, but they do not take the time to divine the source of their troubles.
If only they would open their eyes a bit and look around, they might find that the key to their dilemma was actually quite simple. Then again, the answer might be more difficult than the problem itself. Admitting the existence of a problem becomes even more difficult when the issue concerns the self. I am continually striving to improve myself, constantly seeking perfection. I sometimes ask others to critique my personality and my actions and reveal what they regard as my flaws. Then, I can better evaluate myself with their more objective views. After that, the process is not complicated. I identify those areas that I am not completely satisfied with and determine some means to rectify the condition. So far, I have not had any difficulties with this fix-it-yourself, or rather, this fix-yourself-yourself system.
This self-improvement has given me self-confidence as well as an optimistic attitude toward living. By demonstrating to myself that I alone can change the many aspects of my persona, I have led myself to believe that all aspects of life can be altered as well. All that is required is a bit of will (and some intelligence helps too). I believe the will of man is the greatest driving force in our lives. So there it is. My entire mentality has been reduced to a two-page essay. Here and there it’s a bit foolish, but it is what I live by (until, of course, I find better philosophies). Others may accept it or reject it, but I don’t mind much either way as long as it works for me.