fifteen percent

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So I’ve been bitten.

Orange Is the New Black.

So through 7 episodes of season 1, I’ve learned that when faced with living within the confines of a small environment, one tends to learn the culture- fast. You learn who you can/can’t trust, who holds the power, who to avoid, who has connections, and that 15% who still has that small amount of decency that has withstood the threats to change in order to survive.

Not only have I been bitten, but the bite stings.

There is no new black you understand.

Sometimes in life, to save yourself emotionally, you sometimes feel like you need to adapt to how things are being done and exhibit the same behavior. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t offer help, reach out, give, be generous because I don’t see the same things being done around me. Sometimes I feel like I should bark back, talk badly, unfairly criticize, and hit below the proverbial belt by being unmercifully honest. So, for 60% self preservation, 20% bitterness, and 5% revenge, I struggle with believing this is how it should be; this is how I should behave too.

Then there is that 15% that reminds me that being gracious isn’t popular, but it builds integrity. I have to continue to remind myself of what’s right, what’s decent, what is unselfish, what is meant when love is unconditional. 

You give even when people don’t give. You offer help even when you’ve needed help. You have to be generous even when people don’t give back. You reach out even if people have been selfish and have only thought about themselves. 

I call this the selfie generation, and the overuse of selfies is the most accurate commentary of what is really happening to us and the generations following, if we are not careful. We are so consumed with the self. We are so consumed with looking at ourselves. We are so consumed with making other people look at us- our clothes, our possessions, our lips, our gorgeous hair, our make up, good looks. And because of this, we fail to look at others, to consider others, to empathize with others, to rejoice when they rejoice, and cry when they cry, to give when we have an abundance, to reach out and seek out the hurting, to ask if people need help and even go out of our comfort zone to do something for someone, to be selfless, to stop adorning ourselves and give to something/someone who doesn’t have enough. 

…so I have this tiny bit of hope, that as this show unfolds, somehow everyone meets in the middle and realizes the only way for self-preservation is the preservation of humanity, and everyone needs to hold onto that small percentage of keeping what is true, what is right and not letting circumstances corrupt what is innocent.

We won’t always get it right. I don’t. But we can all take a step forward.


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