Isn’t it funny, sometimes not so funny, when you watch children play with each other. The way they interact, learn new things, remember that thing is their thing and no one else can play with it. The way one child wants everyone to play what they want to play and when everyone else doesn’t they start to pout.
It doesn’t get better as we grow up. I am talking to you teenagers. I want to spend time with my friends, not my family. I have to know everything that’s going on with all my friends every second of every day instead of interacting with the people around you. I want the latest gadget and gizmo no matter what it costs even though I just got the latest gadget and gizmo six months ago.
As adults, we forget how our children were when they were young and we sometimes act the same way. I don’t care what the rest of the family wants, I want to do this. I don’t care if I am not spending time with my children, I need to do this. I have to upgrade to the latest iphone even though it will cost me money I could use to pay a bill or help someone else. I don’t care if I am destroying my spouse or my kids, I want to be with someone else.
How many times have we seen athletes yelling at their coaches or teammates, even when they are winning, about get me the ball. I’m always open, I need the ball more. It’s a team sport.
I get that way. After a rainy summer I want to go to the pool today because it is finally sunny even though the rest of the family has other stuff to do. I want to watch the latest episode of this instead of another episode of that that Kylie wants to watch. I want to work out when my wife gets home from training instead of spending time with her.
I know many times I have said but what about me! One example is my wife is known as a runner. She runs and runs and runs. Even Jeremy Camp knows her as the runner. Every time we see him and talk to him he says “I know you, you are the runner girl.” I don’t know how he can remember that with all the people he meets. Anyway, everyone always asks my wife for advice on running. I weight 100 lbs more than her, run about half as much as she does but yet I can run faster than her and beat her in races. NO ONE has ever asked ME for running advice.
How do we break this cycle? We need to quit living for ourselves. I equate being selfish with being happy. I get to do what I want so I am happy. Being happy equals being a taker. We need to start living a meaningful life. Having a life full of purpose and meaning equals being a giver.
I read an article called “There’s More To Life Than Happiness” which had some interesting points. “Happiness without meaning characterizes a relatively shallow, self-absorbed or even selfish life, in which things go well, needs and desire are easily satisfied, and difficult or taxing entanglements are avoided,” the authors write.
How do the happy life and the meaningful life differ? Happiness, they found, is about feeling good. If you have money to but what you want when you want then you are happy. But if you don’t have the money then you think you are unhappy. “I never get anything good.” How many times have you bought yourself something new and were happy then after a month it sits in your closet unworn, or it’s collecting dust somewhere. Guess what? Every human and animal in this world is looking to be happy. Even the lion that kills to eat is happy until he is hungry again and can’t find food then he is unhappy.
What sets us apart from animals is not the pursuit of happiness, but the pursuit of meaning, which is unique to humans. In the words of Martin E. P. Seligman, one of the leading psychological scientists alive today, in the meaningful life “you use your highest strengths and talents to belong to and serve something you believe is larger than the self.” Having more meaning in one’s life was associated with activities like buying presents for others and taking care of kids. People whose lives have high levels of meaning often seek meaning out even when they know it will come at the expense of their own happiness. In fact, according to Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert, research shows that parents are less happy interacting with their children than they are exercising, eating, and watching television. Say what? And we wonder why our children are turning out the way they are. How they are turning away from the church, how they are living for themselves, how they are living to be happy. They learned it from us, the parents.
“Partly what we do as human beings is to take care of others and contribute to others. This makes life meaningful but it does not necessarily make us happy,” Baumeister said in an interview.
While happiness is an emotion felt in the here and now, it ultimately fades away, just as all emotions do. The amount of time people report feeling good or bad correlates with happiness but not at all with meaning. Meaning, on the other hand, is enduring. Having negative events happen to you, the study found, decreases your happiness but increases the amount of meaning you have in life. Another study from 2011 confirmed this, finding that people who have meaning in their lives, in the form of a clearly defined purpose, rate their satisfaction with life higher even when they were feeling bad than those who did not have a clearly defined purpose. In his book Man’s Search For Meaning Viktor Frankl wrote “If there is meaning in life at all then there must be meaning in suffering.”
“The more one forgets himself — by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love — the more human he is.”
Sounds like something I have read in the Bible that has been teaching us about life for a couple thousand years.
All About Me by New Medicine –
It Ain’t Easy by Ratt –
#Selfie by The Chainsmokers –
All About Me by Drowning Pool –
I Wanna Talk About Me by Toby Keith –
Selfless by New Found Glory –
Face It by NF
The Day, The Week, The Weather by Firehouse –
Selfish by Gemstones feat Precious –
Broken Bones by Rev Theory –
If I’m Guilty by Aaron and Amanda Crabb –
I’m So Sick by Flyleaf –
I Hate Hate by About A Mile –
Death of Me by Andy Mineo –