Giving doesn’t demand great sacrifice, great spending, or great selflessness. We can give thanks or praise, we can lend a hand or an ear, and we can take others into account when we make speak or act. We can put ourselves in others shoes, we can give another the benefit of the doubt, we can respect each other, we can share knowledge and wisdom. Don’t underestimate your power to give to others. And don’t underestimate the power giving holds to make the world a better place.
The very connotations surrounding the definition of ‘selfish’ are negative: “lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure”. But sometimes the only way we can ever become selfless is through being selfish. If we do not pursue our own passions, if we cannot be ourselves, if we do not take care of ourselves – if we are basically empty inside – then what do we have to offer and give each other? When we follow our own ideas, we bring new perspectives into the world. When we learn to be ourselves, we inspire confidence in others. When we understand how to make ourselves happy, we radiate happiness into the world. By being a little selfish once in a while, the world will blossom.
Many of us struggle with the idea of letting others down. Sometimes it’s the people who raised us or the people who we look up to. Sometimes it’s the people who have helped us out or the people who have been kind to us. We do not want to come across as ungrateful, selfish or inconsiderate. We want to make them proud. But we cannot always be guided by what people think or by what would be best for other people. Sometimes, we have to let them down to pursue what’s best for us. And that doesn’t make us a monster. If those people are invested in us, they will move past it and be happy for us. We can’t always please everyone.
Some of us crave attention and some of us want to escape it. Yet both create rather unhealthy relationships with attention. We should not rely on other people’s attention for validity, confidence or love. We need to look for those within. At the same time, we should not be afraid of other people’s attention. We should feel comfortable about accepting praise, talking about ourselves, and being accomplished. Running away from attention nurtures the feelings of insecurity and insignificance just as much as craving it does. Other people’s attention should reinforce, boost and enhance, instead of compensate for our lack of attention in ourselves. The attention we pay ourselves is the only form we can control and the only form we can ever grow upwards from. So don’t spare it.