As part of my current self-help regimen, I take a lot of notes. I write down ideas and concepts that seem to apply to me, or at least they apply to where I am this week. Usually these inspirations occur when I don’t have a pen or a piece of paper. No problem. This is 2013; I can enter the idea as a memo in my “smart” phone. If the ideas are stupid, bloop, deleted. If they are useful, bleep, I email them to my tablet and with a few magical finger taps (most of which are “backspace, backspace, backspace”) they become part of my journal or a blog post.
A few days ago, someone pointed out that the root of many of our problems is ego. Not just, “Wow, I am amazing” type ego. We can get just as messed up with the negative internal vibes as with the positive ones, but it’s all ego. Whether we are high on ourselves or low on ourselves, at its root the problem is that “we” are spending too much time being “me.” We need to follow the advice of John Paul II and make a gift of ourselves to others.
How much of us should we give? To take the old metaphor, “you have two ears and one mouth, listen twice as much as you talk,” just a little further, try focusing on your family and friends in proportion to the number of them versus the number of you. In other words, if you have ten friends and family members, you should spend ten times as much of your energy focused on them as you spend on yourself.
Getting back to taking notes. I thought this was a good concept to meditate over, so I made a point of writing “self-centeredness” in my phone, so that I could refer to it later. My phone, having either the common sense of the Lord or the sarcastic wit of my wife, decided to auto-correct my notes, turning the word “self-centeredness” into “self-centered mess.”
I didn’t bother changing it.
“A man has no greater love than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Jn 15:13