Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Me first!

Recently the bus I was on arrived at its destination, so I got up and walked toward the door to get off. Though that took no more than a few seconds, the moment the bus driver opened the door the people waiting to get on immediately started entering. Now my understanding is that if people are in an enclosed space like a bus or elevator, they should be allowed to exit before others enter. But maybe things have changed (at least here)? Where I live, I too often see cars on the highway not letting traffic merge from on-ramps, people not holding doors when somebody's two feet behind them, not saying thank you for a kind deed granted to them, and so on.

I've heard the 1970s was called the "Me Decade," but for certain people or cultures, it's "me first" in any era. For several years, the US Army's slogan was "An Army of One." I never liked that slogan, because it seemed to imply that the individual is more important than the team (whether that was the intention, I can't say; I'm only giving my impression). I can't imagine any wise military leader believing that.

I've certainly been guilty of thinking "me first." But as much short-term satisfaction that might give, when I've deferred to others rather than getting my own way, when I've done something for somebody without expecting something in return--I am far more satisfied. My wife is the ultimate "giver" as far as I'm concerned. While she, like I, enjoys being pampered at times, she will not hesitate to bless me in some way by giving of herself sacrificially. Her generosity has helped me see what a blessing it can be to think of others first.

I'm trying to follow through with that mindset more & more by not having a quid pro quo requirement when it comes to reading or commenting on others' blogs, tweets, etc. If I like what I'm reading, that's all that matters. I'm trying not to be upset when somebody doesn't read or post something on my blog. But I am human. Maybe hanging around people like my wife (& Christ) will help me get my priorities straight.

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