Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Living for others

'It was with sad acceptance that I read your passages . . . I say acceptance because I have seen all too often that [a priority on self] is the way all too many people feel they must live their lives. I am sad about it because this attitude is so determinedly self-defeating. Here’s the seemingly contradictory truth about being human: You can get anything you want by helping other people get what they want. True joy is found only in serving others, not in serving yourself.

I’m a fairly successful man in his forties with a wife and two kids. I am steady, calm, and blissfully happy in my life. I know what I’ve got going for me; sometimes I revel in it. I’m a good father and a good husband, if I say so myself. However, in order to be those things, I had to realize that it’s not about me. It’s about them. As I live my life for them, the rewards that I get back far outstrip the minimal, immediate cost to me.

Living your life for yourself is like squeezing a handful of sand: The harder you clench, the faster it slips through your fingers, leaving you with nothing. But if you open your hand up flat, you can hold that sand all day.

This is a fundamental human truth that our current social structure is working hard to deny. Everyone’s working for self-actualization, self-gratification, and self-realization, when all one needs to do is step back and take the focus off self, putting it on others. Do that, and the rest falls into place. Amazing, innit?'

Quoted in

Do you think Obama is President because he wants to help the poor and afflicted, or because he wants Barack to be President? Some of both? I wouldn't judge too harshly. Although President Obama is unbelievably vain, it is possible to be vain and have good intentions. Just thought I'd make my views known.

No comments: