The year of the selfie
Sun City, Calif.
2014 has been known as the year of “the selfie.” With so much attention placed on the self, everything is about “me, myself, and mine.” A pastor of ours once said, “Sin is spelled with a capital I, as in sIn,” so we have had an epidemic of sIn right before our eyes. In any relationship, when someone becomes obsessed with themself, the relationship is severely damaged.
I hope 2015 will be different and rather than being focused on “self,” we focus on the needs of others and more willing to help our neighbors. All of us must realize that “I am not the center of the universe and the world does not revolve around me.”
It is only in giving and helping others that we find fulfillment of “self.” It is only in losing our life that we find it. Mother Teresa and thousands of others have attested to this in their life’s memoirs. The selfish people I have known in my life have not been happy people, for the more they accumulate for themselves the more they want, and do not find happiness or satisfaction in it. On the other hand, people I have known who have devoted their lives to helping others have found joy in giving, knowing they have helped another human being.
I believe one of the secrets of a happy life is knowing how and when to give. We can’t give to every good cause and certainly can’t solve the problems of the world, but we can find happiness by giving to those people and causes for which we have a passion. We get requests for money every day from organizations with good causes, but we must pick and choose those we can afford to support. Giving of money is one thing, but giving of self is far more rewarding.
Any child will tell you they would rather have their parents spend time with them, baking cookies, listening to music, hiking, etc., rather than getting lots of stuff. The best memories I have of my father are of sitting next to him in church on Sunday mornings, because it was the one time of the week I got to be with him, as it seems the rest of the week he was always working. My daughter told me the best memory she has of me is going to the beach and watching the waves come ashore, and it didn’t cost anything but time together. The small things we do make for great memories.
This article originally appeared in the Jan. 30, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.