Life Blog – Heukgisa

내 인생에 한 흑기사 가 있어요.

Two days ago, I blogged about a huge amount of stress I had been feeling recently, due to a number of different things but mainly due to receiving bad feedback for my dissertation. For those of you who have read the post, you will be very aware of my stress process – stages 1, 2 and 3. That day, I managed to skip stage 2 all together and head straight from stage 1 to 3. What an achievement.

연약할 때 강하고 – Be strong when you are weak

I am happy to say that, a few hours after posting the blog, I managed to sit down with a friend to try and figure out a way around the problems I was facing, and am back on the path to finishing my dissertation. After about 2 hours, we did come up with a good game plan, where I could take things step by step. This worked out perfectly. If I keep up my current pace, I will be done by the end of week, in time for my meeting with my supervisors. This gives me another week to make any other changes they suggest, before the deadline. As my submission is online, it saves me some more time as I don’t have to worry about printing and binding my work.

But that’s not what this post is about. Let me go back to that friend I mentioned earlier, the one who helped me figure out a solution for my problem. I’ve known this friend for a few years now, but have never been particularly close with them until recently. To be completely honest, I’m not even sure how it kicked off, but here we are. Over the last month or so, this friend has helped me a lot with a number of problems, whether that’s through his words of wisdom or by just hearing me out. Regardless of how low I was feeling, on numerous occasions, he was immediately on the phone to me, and would make me feel better in an instant. So I gave him a nickname, Heukgisa, or black knight, someone who is helpful, chivalrous and kind. ‘A term for someone who helps others without asking a price’.

It got me thinking about other people I’m surrounded by, other people I have met and interacted with. How many of them are that selfless? How many people in this world are? It feels like not many people are willing to do a “favour” for you unless they receive something in return. An IOU, essentially. This could be from something as small as sharing or liking something on social media, to something big like lending a lot of your time or money. It rarely gets done without the other saying “only if you do the same for me when I need it”. Since when did we lose faith and trust in people? Since when did we have to start making deals with everyone in our lives, from friends and family to absolute strangers?

A few months ago, a good friend of mine hosted the UK’s first inter-university Eastern classical dance competition, Thaala, and had asked a number of other universities societies to take part. A few of the these agreed on the terms that they would compete if our university representatives took part in their showcases. However, due to other commitments, my friend and her team couldn’t take part in their shows, which resulted in the universities in question pulling out very close to the competition date. I just don’t get why the world runs like this.

I’m not saying I’m not guilty of doing this. I definitely have done it before. But even before getting to know this friend and seeing this side to him, I started questioning why. Since when did I start losing faith in people around me? Yes there are some people who I don’t trust anymore purely because I’ve been hurt by them. But everyone else, why was I expecting things in return from them?

Over the past few months I’ve started helping a lot of people around me, without expecting anything in return, and I’m at a point where helping someone because I care about their situation and want to help them is the only reason why I’m doing it. Whether it be giving them a pep talk, or proof reading their work, or just having chitchat with them because they don’t do too well on their own; I’m doing it because I want to help them. I want them to feel better because no one should be put in an uncomfortable place without someone to turn to. Trust me, it such a lovely feeling knowing that, even for a split second, you put a smile on someone’s face. For all I know, I might have been the first person to hear them out or say something nice to them that day, or even for a long time. It doesn’t hurt us to do that for someone else. For all you know, you could have just made their whole day through a small gesture.

I feel so blessed to have certain people in my life, like the heukgisa, my good old friend (who I’ve talked about in an old blog post), another friend who actually blogs on here (rainshiningdownonclosedeyes), and most importantly my boyfriend and my parents. People who actually teach me how to be a better person, people I look up to for different reasons, in the hope that one day, I could be half the men & women they are.

When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too. – The Alchemist, Paul Coelho

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