Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Time to Count the “I”
By Micky Wolf
I recently read an article which contained a dozen or so “I” words in a short span of space. (Okay, two down.) It was interesting content, however, I felt a bit bludgeoned with the “I-ness” by the time I finished. (Make that five.)
With all due respect, there is a time and place for “I”. Otherwise, how would you know I will meet you for lunch if I didn’t say so? Or, what if I’m not clear when giving voice to my questions or concerns involving the various circumstances of daily life? (Now at nine.)
It seems a whole industry has developed around the idea of me, myself, and I. The topic is so popular as to be the focus of a multitude of books, movies, poems and songs. Some references go back long before what has, in recent years, become dubbed with the unflattering moniker of “the me generation”, otherwise known as the baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964. Ouch.
The darker side of carrying a me, myself, and I attitude or manner of behavior can involve several personal belief systems:
…having experienced rejection, bullying, or being ignored as a child, I enter into adult life determined to be seen or heard at almost any cost
…believing I will be misunderstood, I leap at every opportunity, real or perceived, to explain or defend myself, even before a situation or circumstance completely unfolds
…feeling the pressures and stress of my busy life, I feel compelled to speak louder or longer in order to state my opinion or make my point
The lighter aspects of the me, myself, and I approach may include the following:
…taking personal responsibility and being accountable when my words, actions, or behaviors create problems or hurt others or myself
…asserting myself in ways which clarify or improve communication with family, friends or coworkers
…caring enough about myself as a being created in the image and likeness of God to love and accept myself in order to more fully accept and love others
We does include I…
The more we behave and live from a posture of we or us, the greater the likelihood you and I will become more compassionate, loving, and considerate of one another. Furthermore, when we allow God to help us transform our thinking and attitudes from “I need to look out for me and mine” to “we are in this together”, our whole outlook on life tends to move from darkness into light, negativity into positivity. In the process, we have less unnecessary conflict and problems and we are empowered to approach challenges and difficulties with the strength, wisdom, and insight each and all of us bring to the table.
When Jesus gave us the two greatest Commandments, he kept it pretty simple: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:37-39)
We tend to get the love the Lord your God part, but there is a subtle yet important concept within the remainder of the Commandment which embodies the heart of living more “we” and less “I”—loving your neighbor is contingent upon loving yourself.
If there is a “me, myself and I” we need to attend to, it is to come before the Lord with the whole of our being and humbly asking Him for His grace, mercy, and loving-kindness in learning how to truly love as He loves—self and others. Sometimes this will mean sacrifice and denying myself of what I want or think I need, which some would describe as tough Love. Other times it will mean being enveloped in the feel good kind of stuff that is much easier to receive. Either way, God longs to assure us that each us are unique, special, and precious to Him.
Do I know how to love myself?
What does loving self mean? Loving others as self?
What do I need to take to God about “Me, myself and I”?