Posted By RichC on January 1, 2014
The end of the year is a time many of us make a New Year’s Resolution, often about how we can improve in the coming year. As I started this post, I thought my resolution was to be more tolerant of others and of their views. Over the years, and as politics have become more divisive, I’ve become less patient and a bit less tolerant. Besides that particular personal flaw shared by a few others (cough, cough), I’ve notice “we” Americans have become “self-focused.” In my opinion, we’ve placed our interest above that of others and this self-absorbed nidus demonstrates lack of humility translating to attention inward rather than outward. We have become a selfish and self-centered society that often ignores the needs of other people and instead showboat or whine about our own lives. Even in my blog about a New Year’s resolution, I’m feeling pretty “self-centered” … although hopefully in a way that changes my focus?
I am not the only one noticing the “preoccupation with self,” especially in 21st century America. In fact my generation is probably responsible for raising children who over prioritize their own self-importance. From the “look-at-me” world of Facebook, Twitter and Google+ … to personal blogs, trophies and awards, the trend toward “selfies” on Instagram. Public figures aren’t much help either with even President Obama turning a cellphone camera on himself this past year. Chest pounding and dancing athletes are emulated on school playgrounds and entertainment celebrities continue to try and “one-up” each other with outrageous flaunting behavior as our culture becomes more “me, me, me” focused. Schools believing they are giving children confidence have gone to the point of rewarding mediocrity with all the esteem building pats on the back. I’ve seen the change in schools over the last few decades which has translated to youth sports where everyone is declared a winner and deserving of a trophy. It’s no wonder “self” has become so important as children become teens, begin careers or fail to find happiness in marriage. Serve others or putting the needs of someone else first has never been taught.
It is time for “less self” and attention to building up others. For 2014 … I’ll be more tolerant and focus on serving others.