This I Believe

Amanda - Winterville, North Carolina
Entered on October 2, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in selflessness. I am twenty-one years old, merely a “kid” in the eyes of many, but I feel that I am very fortunate for receiving the revelation, now, later than needed, that selfishness is the source of all trouble.

I have began to realize this transforming truth over past several months, as I remain in a “roommate” living situation and have gotten engaged, now preparing for marriage. I can think back to three years ago, when I became a homeowner, found roommates, and moved in. It seemed that, overnight, I had become an obsessive compulsive decorator and organizer. I could not stand it if a picture frame was rearranged or keys were left on the coffee table! I didn’t want a dirty dish in the sink either, and since it was my house, I felt I had the right to feel anxious when these things were done by my roommates, who were also my tenants. As I prepare to become a wife, and experience a closer relationship between man and woman than I have ever known, I see in myself, daily, the struggle to consider his needs over my own, to show respect to him, even when I am moody or have not had my desires met, and to find joy in compromising my way. As I transition as an adult, it is tempting to resist the push of my parents to let go financially, and learn that I just can’t have everything I want. It seems that, everyone, in life may relate to these situations in one way or another. Selfishness seems to be universal, but I believe in selflessness and that when it defeats, it is then that all situations are in the ultimate state of being right where they are supposed to be.

I read two quotes by unknown authors that said, “Selfishness is mankind’s fundamental defect” and “At the root of every problem is selfishness.” It is selfishness which is behind things such as divorce, cheating, addictions, adultery, sexual promiscuity, bitterness, jealousy, lying, debt, disrespect, murder, bondage, materialism, compulsions, hostility, anxiousness, guilt, condemnation, judgment; and it is selfishness which causes the situations of broken families, broken friendships, the innocently poor populations of many nations, orphans, lonely widows, discriminated races, outcast handicapped people, shaken babies, and many more.

It is selflessness that brings community, sharing, trust, truth, faithfulness, value, giving, freedom, and joy. It is selflessness which produces lasting friendships, unbreakable families, the acceptance of mankind, criminals offered new life, the poor cared for, and the neglected given a home. It is selflessness which brings complete freedom. It is only selflessness that can allow unconditional love and unconditional respect.

As I look back on days wasted, and missed opportunities to lay myself down, to just listen, to drop “having what I want” to let another know that what they want is important, to loose the roadblock of anxiousness, and to not say sorry and ask for forgiveness because it was uncomfortable. I have spent entire days not blessing other people’s lives because I was too consumed in self-inflicted condemnation for choosing to act and think selfishly!

I believe that life is not about me. Selflessness is a choice. Selflessness is the best anyone can live; it is selflessness in which I desire to live my life. I believe in selflessness.