You’re selfish! or are you?
It’s my birthday today!
And it’s the first day in a long time that it’s going to be devoted just to me!
You’d be forgiven for wondering, ‘aren’t all days devoted to you?’ The answer to that would be no… especially recently, as I’m trying to close on a very important transaction before Christmas…if I do, it will undoubtedly change my life (and by association the people close to me) but in order to achieve this I haven’t worked or thought about much else, including myself, for several months. I’ve had shingles, sleepless nights, tantrums and a whole slew of other emotions, but not much time to stop and actually consider, how the hell am I feeling today? But then how many people do?
As you read this, how often do you actually have the opportunity and feel like you’re able to dedicate all, most or even part of your day to doing things for or even thinking about you? You’re probably thinking, rarely, be it work, family, friends…we’re often thinking about others and not necessarily ourselves, or are we?
Some people are actually thinking about themselves most if not all the time but they just don’t know it… whether that be hijacking a conversation by talking directly about themselves, bemoaning things happening in their lives; disappointing friends, spouse, job, etcetera whilst not drawing breath long enough to consider the things that are happening or are important to others. You may not even see it and, by association, you”re most likely unable to acknowledge it but if you’re exhibiting any of these traits then that makes you a very selfish person indeed.
Does this mean that being selfish is bad and being selfless is good?
Well, it would be easy to jump that the obvious conclusion; being selfless (cheer!) is good… at least it’s perceived that way. There’s even a scientific reason why it’s good but I won’t bore you with that… it’s pretty much the reason why many doting parents will be bathed in a warm glow on Christmas morning as they watch their children unwrap their gifts. The act of doing something for or gifting something to others releases endorphins and makes us ‘feel good’ (most of the time).
On the other hand, being selfish (boo!) is good for us but not necessarily for those around us.
I don’t have much time for people who are more than often only interested in talking about themselves….oddly, these types of or characters appear to be spawning in ever greater numbers. As economic pressures bear down, as we get older, our general way of life becomes somewhat ‘darker’ as do we. What we’d normally turn the other cheek to suddenly becomes a ‘sore’ and, when left untreated, a nasty wound. Many have a problem expressing themselves whilst others have a problem ‘baring all’ too often!
In the absence of a therapist and in the blessing of a close friend or family member, we should all pause for thought… whilst the ones who love and care about us are eager to share in our everyday lives, our good, our bad and our ugly, it is of utmost importance that we reciprocate the sentiment.
So, the next time you find yourself moaning about your ailment, your partner, your colleague, the state of the nation or even the weather… consider the fact that the person who loves you may want to share the lows in your life but they also like to share some of the highs. Now, I know that the depressed among you will instinctively think ‘ there aren’t any highs’ but you’d be amazed by how many things are actually quite good about your life. And, in the unlikely event that you really can’t find anything, then just focus on the good of the ones you love, they’ll be most grateful for it because, guess what, you’re being SELFLESS and this in turn will make YOU feel good. 🙂
But the real moral of the story is MODERATION; whilst it may be ‘bad’ to put yourself first at the detriment of others, it’s equally as ‘bad’ to always put yourself last. Each and everyone of us needs to be moderately selfish to ensure that we’re taking adequate care of our state of mind as this will, ultimately, enable us to be selfless with others.
This Christmas and most likely over this winter season (which incidentally starts tomorrow) there’s a good chance that you’ll experience or hear of many acts of selfish/selflessness because this is what being human is all about. Enjoy acts of selflessness bestowed on you and try to reciprocate, you’ll feel good about it! (and no, that’s not necessarily a hint to all my nearest and dearest…. although, now that I mention it…. 😉 )
Today, I’m going to be selfish, it’s my Birthday…the one day when I’m truly going to allow it all to be about me because I know that tomorrow everything changes back, again.
Thank you for reading a Different Angle and for showing your support in 2011. I’ve truly felt humbled by your selfless act of dedicating your time to reading my blog posts. For any author, it’s always a blessing to feel ‘read’.
If I don’t post before, HAVE A GREAT CHRISTMAS!
And don’t forget to “take care of yourselves and each other…”
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A lovely article, & one we should all try to remember & carry with us into the New Year x