All About Self

Posted: December 25, 2014 in gen x, parenting, selfish

The mindset of this country has shifted so much over the past few years.  Everyone is not only out for self, but they’re only focused on self.  Why do I walk through life feeling as if I’m one of few people who actually cares about others?  Here it is Christmas Day and I’m doing a blog post on exactly the opposite of what today means.  I witnessed countless examples of selfishness on yesterday just from a trip to a store to get a last-second gift for someone.

I can’t figure it out for the life of me.  On a daily basis I see so many examples of people being consumed with their own little worlds without giving one thought to the fact that others live in it.  An example of that is a Christmas card that I received from a friend of mine.  I received it on Monday and I called her that evening to thank her for the card.  She told me that she sent five cards to people and that I was the only one who called to thank her.  She said another person did send a text, but she’s heard nothing from the others.

Most people don’t send cards any more, so you would think someone who puts forth an effort would at least get a call to say “thanks.”  Not these days.  Maybe if the card contained a gift card would someone feel more grateful, but not for a card that only contains seasons greetings.

Why is it so hard to say “thank you” for someone’s efforts?  Kids are obviously not being taught to appreciate the efforts of others because their (Gen X) parents don’t seem to know any better.  Wait.  I take that back.  They know better.  They just don’t care.

I’m a giver.  That’s just part of my nature.  I’ve even been criticized for it (by selfish people, of course).  From being cordial to ex-girlfriends to loaning $5 to someone who already owes me $10.  I’ve been called out for showing compassion for others.  By no means am I a sucker, but I choose to do things on a case-by-case basis.  And I will continue to do so despite the chirping of a few miserable people who wonder how I continue to give and keep smiling in the process.

I have extremely tough skin so the criticism doesn’t bother me.  I actually think that it’s sad people criticize someone for doing something for others.  It’s also sad that people think that you can’t do something for someone without expecting something in return other than a “thank you.”  Do it because you want to be helpful.  Not because you have expectations of a return on your “investment.”  A “thank you” should be payment enough.

This country is slowly imploding.  The media is working double-time to create a war between minorities and the police.  Politicians perpetuate fights between members of the middle class.  We slowly piss off every country overseas from invading their country to making comedy movies about their leaders.  All of this could be avoided if people simply considered others before speaking or doing.

But, nope.  We’re all about self.  So, as I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, I will leave you with this thought: starting today I want you to do something nice for someone “just because.”  I challenge you to make at least one person smile every day.  If they looked surprised when you make a gesture then don’t be alarmed by it.  I often find that people are confused by acts of kindness because good deeds are not expected without strings attached.  I’ve even had people question me on why I did something for them as if they weren’t worthy of it or maybe I was up to something.  That’s sad.

Mother Teresa most famously said, 
“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. 
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. 
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. 
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. 
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. 
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. 
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. 
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
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