Selfishness Is Best for Everyone   3 comments

I say that tongue in cheek… sort of.  Many of us have so confused self-care with selfishness, that we think it is holy to mistreat ourselves in ways we would never think to treat another.  I am one of those who feel I must neglect myself in order to help others, but at least for me, I am surprised by the opposite happening.  As I found myself able to be kind to myself on my drive to D. C. yesterday, I spontaneously began feeling kind towards those around me.

A woman tailgated me for a while and then cut in front of me.  Instead of thinking, “You jerk!” I thought, “I’ve been in big hurries before.  I know how that feels.  I hope you make it in time.”   I had empathetic, even appreciative thoughts for slow drivers, confused drivers, and wacky pedestrians.  I even had an open heart to the one person in Arlington that made my life miserable when I was pastoring there.

Who would have thought that taking care of myself, even putting my own needs first, would have such a positive impact on my outlook and behavior towards others?  It seems I may help others most by taking care of myself first.


Posted July 21, 2011 by janathangrace in Uncategorized

3 responses to “Selfishness Is Best for Everyone

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  1. Have learned in spite of anything that occurs in one’s life it’s all about this person’s perspective, (God’s) ways and responses to whatever it is that happens. Some days it’s easier to not get angry at someone who deliberately drives wrecklessly, or responds in a less than respectful way and a chosen reaction which focuses on compassion for the person recognizing we see ourselves in their shoes at times eases the pain. It’s better for the person to choose God’s peace, empathy, love, compassion, etc. so we don’t get exacerbated. Viewing angry people who seek to bring another to their level with love will usually change the angry person’s attitude if not immediately then will over time. His love is eternally true!

  2. This is interesting. When I was in Asia this summer visiting my family there, I noticed that in the collective, less individualistic culture I was visiting, people were much less cued into the needs of others. I would have thought it would have been the other way (i.e. if we live in a culture that emphasizes the individual [me], we forget the nameless thousands we pass on the street), but my actual observations were the opposite. You may be onto something.

  3. Em, I’m sure there are some folks who think my words sound dangerous and encourages selfishness. I guess I should try to explain in more detail how I see things, but really this is about my own journey rather than a primer for everyone else’s journey.

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