I can’t help but get frustrated with the epidemic of selfishness that is eating us alive from the inside out. Truth is, I really don’t believe people are vindictive or do it to hurt others. I just think people are so bogged down by the ME in them, that they can’t see out from underneath themselves. I try really hard to teach my kids to be aware of others around them. Do people forget that their every action affects everyone else around them? If you walk into a room in a bad mood everyone feels it. We are all guilty of this one right? However, a person that bursts into a room with a smile and a good spirit is equally contagious. Where we walk, how we drive, our promptness or tardiness, our response to others, our unkept promises all influence everyone we cross paths with on a given day.
So, how do we reduce the size of our me? How do we wake up and say, today, I am going to be completely selfless and make the day special for someone in my life? We may even attempt it and have the best intentions, but if we approach this task in a manner in which we have a bad attitude, outwardly or inwardly, we fail.
I believe it starts with our children. If we rush around to meet their every need and our actions tell them that every tantrum and every need they have trumps our own, than what kind of teenager can we expect in the future? That needy over indulged toddler that doesn’t ever have to wait for anything turns into a selfish teenager and then for the million dollar question…..what type of adult do they become? Are they the kind of adult that grows up and wants to make life better for others or do they end up expecting, well into adulthood that everyone and everything should revolve around their needs?
As a woman in my forties, I have learned to allow myself time to meet my needs. For me, it’s a quiet start to my morning at a coffee shop where I can plug into my iPad and write or listen to music that I love. Or, maybe it’s a quiet Yoga class where I can unload all of my burdens that I carry in my shoulders every day. It’s different for all of us. I know though, when I stop doing those things for myself, I become agitated and irritable. Some people mistaken taking care of your own needs as selfishness, but I disagree. I believe NOT taking care of yourself and spilling your anger and frustration into other peoples lives is the real tragedy.
Sometimes, I wish I could start all over. Take all this knowledge we acquire over the years, be able to go back and do things in a better way, a smarter way. What a neat experiment that would be. Would we do things different or would we make the same exact mistakes all over again? It’s fun to wonder but I guess there’s no way we could ever really know…