I believe I have a natural tendency to be selfish. I also believe that I am easily capable of overcoming this. The trick is to give service to others.
I find it is easy to be selfish every day. These can easily be opportunities for selfishness too. When Allie, my daughter, asks me to sit and play with her while she dresses up, I sit and wonder, as I’m wearing earrings, a necklace, and an ugly straw hat with a big plastic pink carnation on it, if I’ll ever retain my dignity. I sit and let her torture me with dress up because she loves it. She is elated when I play with her and my happiness is rooted in hers.
Sometimes my wife needs time to be alone so she can read. So I’ll take the kids for ice cream. As I’m sitting on the park bench watching my children magically get ice cream everywhere but in their mouths, I find satisfaction in knowing Michelle is at home, probably asleep, being happy.
Rory, my two year old son, likes to ride the horsie. I’m the horsie. I don’t mind being the horsie for a few minutes, but after twenty minutes I want to die. However, when I see Rory smiling, it makes me smile.
Aside from being thoughtful around my family, I also need to use this attitude with my neighbor. Juanita’s driveway is completely covered with snow. It’s less than 30 degrees in January and an elderly widow can’t possibly get outside. So, after I shovel my long driveway it’s off to shovel hers. And maybe I’ll serve a purpose as a good neighbor instead of being the jerk that waters her Honda Accord with my sprinklers in the summertime.
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