We are all born inherently selfish. We naturally put our own needs and wants before those others. But why do we have to grow out of that? After all, we all have the responsibility to ensure our own survival. The best way to do that is to put our individual needs above those of others, right? Why in the world should we learn to think about others and to consider their needs too?
I believe it is possible for you to be a prisoner of your own mind. I also believe that that imprisonment can show up in two ways. On the one hand, you can have an inflated ego and you can think that the world revolves around you. You can think that you are the best person in the world and that others are inferior to you. On the other hand, you can have excessive self-pity and a very low self-esteem. You still think that the world revolves around you, but in this case, you are convinced everybody is judging you and looking at your faults. You think that everybody around you is superior. In both cases, you think of yourself too much.
It’s the second case that concerns me most. Thinking too lowly of yourself can lead to problems like loneliness, depression, and being comfortable with unnecessary suffering. If you are too afraid that people will be judging you, you may decide to not form any good relationships with others. You may think that you don’t deserve to have good friends because of all the “faults” you have. And this can cause you to be lonely and depressed. Even worse, having an overly deflated ego can lead you to be comfortable with abuse and to not pursue happiness and meaning in your life.
So what if you were to practice thinking about others on a regular basis? To listen to them and find out their desires, their priorities, their fears? Chances are that you will find that there are so many different perspectives out there. You will find that many people don’t even notice those “faults” that you think make you unworthy. They are probably not even thinking about you that much even though you convice yourself that they are constantly judging you. They may just be focusing on their own problems.
And you may also find that what you think makes a great human being may not be the same as what others see as attractive in people. So you may not be the best person in the world in their eyes. If you think about others more often, you may find that the world does not after all, revolve around you.
And a beautiful thing can happen when thinking about others causes you to understand them more. In understanding them more, you may feel more connected to the world around you and that feeling of connection can end the loneliness and depression you may feel inside.
How wonderful will it be when your understanding of others and their problems causes you to want to meet their needs. Perhaps thinking more about a particular friend of yours can cause you to know that they need more encouragement and motivation so that they chase their dreams. Maybe you may feel that you can be the source of that encouragement. And that sort of service to others can make your life much more meaningful.
And as always, cheers to life!