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Friday, March 2, 2012

Remember Others, Forget Yourself

I find it hard some days to keep other people and their struggles on my mind. As a human being, I'm naturally selfish, inclined to only care about what directly affects me, and I don't like to think about the multitude of problems other people have. Let's face it, it's not like we like to think about problems-we hate to think about them. We hate thinking about our own problems, let alone other people's problems.

This week has been one where I've been entirely too concerned with the one person in the world I should just forget about-myself. I have been incredibly selfish this week in my estimations and the worst part about it is, it took me a week to realize it basically. This week I've been all about Zach and not about anyone else really.

It's been a tough week for me, relatively speaking. But my problems are my own doing and my fault for the most part; I deserve them really in the grand scheme of things. Self created issues, my problems, and ones that I will have to solve. This week my mind has been cluttered by them and it's taken today to drive home the point that "Hey, I should be the LAST person I think about."

I'm guilty of falling in a classic trap. For most of the time I was awake this week, I was concerned about me. Not until I went to bed, not until I put up my prayers for night, would I think about other people and their issues. How quickly we human beings forget our fellow man or woman.

Just this time last week I had a friend on my mind, who had just had surgery and was recovering. I was worried, I was glad she came out of the surgery all right, but my mind was constantly on it. I did my best to distract myself and I managed to do a decent job of it, but I was still worried about them, their family, the entire situation.

Today...I didn't think about that once while awake, not until more news came down from them that, had the surgery of theirs not happened when it did, things could have been a whole lot worse. And by worse I mean cancer worse.

Cue me, hearing about this, thinking almost immediately "Zach, you selfish SOB." Only a WEEK ago was I actually thinking about this, concerned over this, and in that short span of time I shifted the focus from my friend to myself. Quite an amazing act of human nature, that was...but man did I ever feel bad.

Too often I find myself forgetting about others and keeping myself the focus; oh sure, I'll shift my focus for a few moments on facebook, comment, ect, but then I'm back into "Me Mode" and that's it. Most weeks, I have a decent handle on this, this week I lost that handle completely.

And I feel like a jackass for that. Other people have problems, some worse than yours and some not. The important thing is to actually devote some time to thinking about them, their situation, and not just allotting a few minutes to them before bed.

That's the trap. I'm all for praying for them whenever you want, but I know that in my case, that usually happens before bed and that prayer usually lasts a few minutes at most. For those that know me, you know I'm not some super religious person. I can't quote scripture to you on the drop of a dime, I don't roll with a bible in one hand and holy water in the other, but I do my best. My best isn't good enough...ever, it's why I got Jesus in my life; his worst is better than my best any day of the week.

Though I bet I could make a better batch of sweet tea than him, but that's a complete aside.

Bottom line, I'm not a holy roller, a bible thumper, a super religious nut, or anything else. I'm an average sinner, with issues, character defects, and a human nature that gets the better of me some days. But I know that merely allotting a few minutes for others is an issue.

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one with this problem. Too often we get caught up in our own lives, our own feelings, our own problems, and we forget everyone else. That's wrong. So, this week I'm challenging myself to devote more time to others and less time to myself. People shouldn't be regulated to a few minutes in thought, they should get their due...not sure what that is in time, but maybe an hour of mediation or something.

Whatever the case, I challenge you to do the same. Remember others, forget about yourselves. Maybe if we focus less on ourselves our problems won't seem so big.

Because, really, in the grand scheme of things, most of our problems aren't.

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