Me, Myself and I

We live in a fast-food world.  We have become accustomed to getting things quickly:  over-night shipping, text messages, microwave food, one-cup coffee makers, etc.  Waiting is not an option.  We want it all and we want it now!

I don’t like to wait any more than the next person.  I look for the shortest line in the grocery store.  I try to stay in the fastest lane of traffic.  I check shipping times and get irritated when I have to wait a few days for a package to arrive.  I no longer write letters, because email and text messages are so much faster.  I love the option to order my coffee and it’s ready when I arrive at the local Starbucks.  No waiting.  It’s great! At least, most of the time.

There are times that I want to wait.  I wait to pay bills.  I put off until the last possible moment blood tests and doctor’s appointments.  I hit the snooze button numerous times in the mornings.  I avoid confrontation.  These are all times when I want to wait.  But, what about the person on the other side.  Do they like to wait for me to act?  Do the people who I cut-off in traffic or in the check-out line understand?  Does the time to write a letter mean more than a quick email?  Do I care?  REALLY?

When the most important persons in my life are Me, Myself and I, the needs of others are of no concern to me.  I don’t care how my actions affect anyone else.  As long as I am happy, who cares?  In an egocentric  world, it’s all about ME.  I don’t wait to get what I want, regardless  of what that might be.  When it’s all about ME, I can cheat on my spouse or just replace them when I no longer “feel” for them.  After all,  MY pleasure and happiness is most important.  When it’s all about ME, I do my best to make others look bad since that’s the fastest way to make MYSELF stand out.  When it’s all about ME, I obsess on the next thing I want: a new car, a bigger house, the newest gadget, the next cruise or vacation so others can see how important/successful I am.  When it’s all about ME,  rumor and gossip are my favorite types of communication.  Talking about others’ misfortunes and bad choices, diverts attention from my own poor choices and discontent.   When it’s all about ME, there’s never enough to keep me happy.  I long for peace and contentment, but I don’t seem to be able to keep Myself happy for long.

Don’t misunderstand:  There’s nothing wrong with success or having a nice home or car or traveling.  There’s nothing wrong with them unless those are the things you center your life around.  Happiness is not found in things.  It’s not found in relationships or success.  Happiness is found when I decide to BE happy; when I decide to seek contentment where I am in this moment.  And, usually, I find happiness in the places where Me, Myself and I are not.  When I focus on others, when I realize that my family and friends are important, when I begin to reach outside of Myself, happiness finds me.  Momentary pleasure is not happiness.  It’s said that “happiness comes to those that wait.”  Maybe, we need to learn to be patient, slow down, invest in the world around us.  Maybe we need to learn to wait.  Maybe our focus needs to change from Me, Myself and I to You, Them and They.  Would that make a difference?

What do you think?

“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.”  John 15:13-15 MSG

 

I’m Tired

I’m tired.

I’m tired of the attitude of entitlement. If it’s worth having, it’s worth earning.

I’m tired of ego-centric people that whine and pout and tattle about others being “mean to me” when they do not get their way. Treat others the way you want to be treated ALL OF THE TIME and see what happens.

I’m tired of power hungry control freaks. You can’t control the world. Concentrate on yourself and let me concentrate on me.

I’m tired of the blame game. Take responsibility. Own your decisions, right or wrong.

I’m tired of excuses. Yes, our circumstances shape who we are. They do not control where we are going. Stop playing the victim. Grow-up. Move on.

I’m tired of hearing “I just want to be Happy” or “I just want to have fun” as an excuse to shirk commitments and responsibilities. Happiness is a decision you make in the position you already occupy. Fun isn’t a pre-requisite for living.

I’m tired of watching people purposely hurting others in order to make themselves feel superior. What happened to “If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all”?

I’m just tired.

Happiness: A right or a privilege

Recently, at a high school graduation ceremony, the principal listed several things that have affected the graduates of 2013. These graduates have never known life without a cellphone or MP3 player. They’ve watched technology take off and offer “new & improved” things with increased regularity. Social media are the norm for this graduating class: Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram. They’ve had pictures and videos posted on a routine basis for most of their lives. DVRs, Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime have made on-demand television and movie watching an expectation. You no longer have to wait for the summer reruns to know what happened.

We have developed a fast-moving, impatient life style. Remember Hallmark’s slogan “When you care enough to send the very best”? Today, with the instant social media, Facebook “helps you connect and share with the people in your life.” We used to get the Yellow Pages and “let your fingers to the walking”. Now, Verizon trumpets “Can you hear me now?” Timex told us “it takes and licking and keeps on ticking.” Nike says “Just do it!” In our fast food society, we are unwilling to wait for anything. In our rush to make everything better, and faster, and quicker. we have robbed our children of the gift of savoring the moment.

We push our kids to grow up quickly. Little girls are dressed like grown-ups with make-up and high-heels. We start asking about boyfriends before they can read. Little boys are “coached” early to excel in sports. Our children are exposed to open sexuality in the media, in entertainment and too often in our homes. We no longer protect their innocence, but encourage adult behaviors way before the emotional base is ready to handle it. We are more concerned with being friends with our children than we are in parenting them.

We teach our kids with our own actions that happiness is the most important thing in life. We show them that happiness means a big house, a fancy car, and lots of money. Happiness is something pursued with a passion. People become disposable in the quest for happiness. The momentary pleasures and excitements that were at one time considered the little extras of a respectable, hard-working man or woman’s commitments, have now become the focus of everyday life. Why waste time on commitments and promises? Just go directly to the fun! I deserve to be happy. And, when happiness becomes elusive in one place, we just move on to another.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m all for being happy. It’s my preferred emotion. But, it is just that: an emotion. I do not want to be controlled by my emotions. And I do not believe happiness should come at the expense of those around me or even of my own conscience.

I look around at the world that I am leaving to my kids and my grand kids and sigh. My generation has done so much damage with the lackadaisical attitudes we have taught this generation. Adulthood brings with it responsibilities and privileges. unfortunately, my generation has taught that the privileges are actually rights. And these rights often are demanded at the expense of the responsibilities.

More is not necessarily better. Fast doesn’t always mean quality. Easy doesn’t build strength or character. Stop running after temporary happiness and instead make some serious, life-long investments of time and patience.