Confession time: I am a naturally selfish person, as I think a lot of people are. I like to talk about myself a lot. I put myself first. I’m a terrible listener. My resting face naturally looks grumpy. I try to be considerate and think from others’ perspectives and consider how they’re feeling, but it’s definitely something I have to consciously do. That’s just who I am. And, seriously, I know there’s no way I’m alone in this.
So! My advice for you this week is to, once again, fake it till you make it! Go out of your way at least once this week and just practice being selfless, even if you don’t want to. You’ll find that it becomes natural and then, suddenly, you’re not faking it anymore!
Hold the door open for people entering or exiting a shop with you. Give up your seat on the train, just because. Ask the cashier how their day is going and give them a smile. Buy breakfast for the car behind you at the drive-thru. Greet everyone and wish them a good morning as they arrive at work. Ask after a co-worker’s family. Give up your spare change to the homeless man sitting on the curb.
And here’s the challenging part- don’t brag about it afterward. Just do it for the act in and of itself. Do it to better yourself. Do it because it will make a difference to the people around you. Do it simply because it’s the right thing to do. Because the second you brag about your good deed, it no longer becomes about the act- it goes right back to being about you and becomes, in a way, selfish once more.
So, that’s my advice (and challenge) for you all this week… and every week! Think of others, be kind to strangers as well as friends, show sensitivity, and be humble. Because when you become self-centered, it can lead to entitlement and inconsiderateness and you can end up hurting others around you without even realizing it. (Speaking from experience here with roommates who don’t really think of others or the consequences of their actions… Just saying). Look outward and try to see the world differently, instead of just from your own perspective. Remember that the world does not revolve around you, and that every single person surrounding you has their own life and soul and history and struggle. The world could become a much happier place if we all took time to remember that and did something that didn’t just service ourselves every now and then.