Are We Selfish?
Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.
I can’t help but wonder what would have happened to our country’s history if the pilgrims had not sought and received assistance from the Native American community who resided in the area they were seeking to settle, in 1621! And while this land now known as the United States of America would surely have been visited and homesteaded by other people from Europe, had the pilgrim’s desire to seek a land where they would be able to practice their religion freely and without the censorship and persecution that was so pervasive in England somehow not succeeded, what would be the “trickle down” effect that would be seen today? Would our history be the same? Would we have successfully triumphed over the British Crown during the American Revolution?
I am reminded of a story by Ray Bradbury, “A Sound Of Thunder”, where rich Americans pay to travel back to the time of prehistory, and where just one tiny mis-step off the traveling path changed the entire course of history as we know it.
It seems to me that we all too often, take for granted, the many special things we have been gifted with. Certainly the pilgrims took for granted the assistance the Native American population gifted them with nearly 400 years ago. Rather than appreciating these special people, we abused them, murdered them, moved them from their ancestral lands, and we took and took and took from them. And even today, we are apt to take and take and take without giving anything back. Why is it that people seem to harbor some internal “selfishness gene” which causes us to go through life thinking only of me, my and mine and seldom we and ours and almost never you or yours!
It is apparently human nature to think first about ourselves. And most probably, this is some in-born need, necessary from man’s earliest days, to guarantee self-preservation. However, it is so important that we recognize this as a weakness in mankind and not allow it to become an acceptable way of leading our lives in today’s world. So, what things can we look at to help us to become a people who live lives as givers and not takers?
1.How about trying to put yourself in the shoes of your neighbor. Walking a mile in someone elses shoes sure gives you a fresh perspective of things!
2.Listen and really hear what someone is saying. Concentrate of the point they are trying to make and understand their side of the argument. And DO NOT INTERRUPT!
3.Be proactive in looking for ways to help! Think about what you can do to anticipate the needs of another!
4.Remember those special days like birthdays and anniversaries and give some serious thought to your gifting choices. The gift that is convenient to you may not be appropriate for another!
5.Keep in touch with your family and friends. Treasure every single shared moment for none of us can know with certainty what tomorrow will bring!
6.Be a truly nice person. If someone does a favor, find some way to repay it. If someone has some advice for you, listen to it! Compliment others and accept the compliments from others graciously!
7.VOLUNTEER! Make volunteering your personal mantra! There is nothing more important than giving freely of your time and your talents!
8. Be honest, loyal and considerate! Having a gathering? How about inviting that person who never seems to be included in the plans you or your friends have! Remember when you were a kid and it seemed like everyone else in your class was invited to the birthday party? Remember how you felt?
9.Be on time. Let others know that you appreciate the time they are setting aside for you!
Give these thoughts a ponder and then see if you can apply one or two or all of them to your life. You may just discover that you like yourself a bit more!
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
Copyright © 2011 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC