So I sat here and debated whether or not to smoke. Eventually I caved. It feels like more than giving up to nicotine but giving up to being such a nice guy. More than that. It’s giving up on the idea of being kind and loving to everyone. They don’t deserve it. And it opens me up to being hurt. Over and over. I’m getting off this fucking treadmill. I’m giving up the spiritual climb, the quest to make the world a better place. The vast majority of the people in my world aren’t ready. And I’ve lost my will to encourage people to change. I give up. I’m choosing to return to selfishness. Selflessness is a trap that invites people to take advantage of me. Everyone. I willfully and willingly surrender to my ego, to my humanity, to the ways of the world. I choose to fit in and no longer be an outcast.

There’s a big part of me that wants to cry right now. Without love, there is no hope. And without hope, what’s the possible purpose of life?

Maybe everything really is precisely as it appears to be; everything is perception. I don’t know what’s next. I don’t know that anyone will miss the old me.

I wonder how Jesus lived the life he lived. I’m sure it was harder than mine and mine is unbearably hard. Can I really live without hope? Can I really live without being the kind and giving soul that hopes to change the world to a better place? I honestly don’t know.

So I guess the real question is whether I really matter. Whether I’ve made a difference in this world. And whether I still make a difference. And how I can make a positive difference in the future. And whether making a difference is possible. And if it’s what I want from my life at this point.

It’s not such a unique question. It’s the same question addressed in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Has my life been a success like George Bailey’s life was a success? Have I made a positive impact on the lives of others? Have I done more good than harm? Have I lived to my potential?

I've run out of answers. I've run short on hope.