So, lately I've been thinking a lot about the terms selflessness and selfishness. These paradoxical terms go hand in hand when determining the nature of a person. I realize, it is impossible to be both. It's the same thing as knowing that "No man can serve two masters "(Matt 6:24). These contradictory terms are the foundation for interaction with other people. Lately I have been surrounded by people who, to me, appear either very selfish, or very selfless. I can't help but want to be surrounded by those people who are only selfless. People who get caught up over the tiniest details and spend their life making sure everything is completely fair in all directions, I find to be very selfish.
Newsflash. Life just isn't fair, and it is impossible to make sure that everything is equal 100% of the time. Selfishness doesn't always mean wanting the most or wanting the best, it sometimes just means not being willing to give a little bit extra, or not realizing how being so self-centered can hurt others, or spending so much time worrying about how you can be successful that you forget to notice the things you are doing to reach that success are hurting others. Selflessness, on the other hand, only ever results in blessings. The person who is willing to give the last few dollars to pay for something, or the person who is willing to make a sacrifice to make sure someone else is able to succeed means a lot. The person who is willing to give advice over and over and listen to others over and over without ever being asked if they need anything. Small acts of daily sacrifice and kindness can make a world of difference. Being surrounded by both of these characteristics has made me question myself: which master am I serving?
When put into that context, it appears quite clear which master I want to be serving. Selflessness comes from God, and selfishness comes from the devil. There really isn't any other way to say it. When it's put that way, I choose God. Every.single.time.
I do find myself getting caught up on little things that don't matter often, and I want to stop. I want to be the person who is willing to make that sacrifice for other people. I'm far from perfect, but learning a little bit about these two words and experiencing the effects of them has really been eye opening. Being selfless doesn't mean you have to donate your life savings to a charity. It doesn't mean to let others walk all over you. It simply means being open minded enough to see that the tiniest details really don't matter. Being willing to help someone out if they need it, and being aware enough to realize it before they have to ask. It means buying the bracelet from the little kiddos in Mexico even though you already have five. They are only a dollar anyway. It means taking care of yourself and your things so no one else has to do it for you. It means giving spare change to the beggars on the street, because you know what? No one really knows for sure that they are going to be spending that money on drugs an alcohol. It means thinking about yourself less so you can realize how your actions are impacting other people. It means buying the cookies from the girl scout trying to raise money. It means not spending so much time thinking about how you can make your own life better, and maybe thinking about how you can make the life of someone else just a little bit easier. Now, I'm sure it's easier said than done, but theres no harm in making a good effort. I'm starting today.
Okay, I'm done now.