“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
What do college students love more than cheap, quick food and having classes cancelled? The answer is themselves. We live in a “me” generation, where everything we do is centered on the self.
How is this going to benefit ME?
How can I achieve MY goals?
Get out of MY way!
You may be able to blame fame and fortune for this mindset. Even in the generous act of donating money to charities, flashy celebrities use giving away their “hard earned money” to focus the public attention back onto them and their “giving spirit”.
When a sponge is placed in the middle of a liquid it automatically sucks all of it up and holds in within the material. That is what “absorbing” is… taking in, using up or consuming.
Being “self-absorbed” is acting exactly like that sponge, collecting up all the attention of the people around to receive all the attention. If someone is self-absorbed, some of the possible characteristics he or she would possess are qualities such as vanity, selfishness, pride or conceit. These adjectives directly reminded me of Philippians 2:3, where the bible speaks on being self-absorbed. A constant theme throughout the bible is to be selfless. Our society speaks the exact opposite of this concept. Ever since we have landed on this earth, we are told to take care of yourself before you worry about anyone else around you. We are told to get to the top no matter what, no matter if you have to dig your nails into others back to climb up to the top of the “success” mountain.
But is it really all about us? Should we even bother to “consider others better than yourself”? What would I gain by that outlook?
I met one of the most self-absorbed girls I know last year in the freshman dorm, Moore Hall. No matter the situation, this girl could relate anything back to her in a heartbeat. You could be drowning in a raging sea and she could find a way to suck up everyone’s attention from trying to save you all the way around to the new Coach purse she just added to her very expansive collection. I sometimes contemplated why she was this way.
Besides the fact that she was an only child and her parents spoiled her beyond belief, this girl loved her self a little too much. She made herself the center of the attention in any situation. Her motto was that she was “a real person”, so anything offensive she said could be excused because of this “quality” she had adopted. She never considered how what she had said might have hurt another person’s feelings. All of her problems were put on other people. It was like she didn’t understand that people would avoid her so that they wouldn’t have to be dumped with everything going wrong in her life. She was controlling, manipulative and bossy, always ordering people around to do things.
But behind her eyes, I could tell that she was very insecure about her body and over compensated (a little too much) because of this lack of confidence by explaining to others about how great she is. Although I have maintained a loose friendship with her this year, I have chose to not spend as much time with her as I did last year. People like her are exhausting to be around and not any fun to hang out with.
I don’t mean to tell the story of this girl to bash her personality, but rather to explain what it is like to have a friend who is self-absorbed. I have had great times with this girl and at times she has toned down this characteristic, but that is just who she is.
Anyone could have self-absorbed tendencies in their personality. I wouldn’t consider myself as “self-absorbed”, but many times I don’t act out of consideration for others. Thinking of others as coming before yourself seems so foreign to us, but it is something that must be done. We can’t be stuck as a generation that only cares about ourselves.
I am working, trying to be more other focused, instead of being self-centered. Although its not an easy task in our society, the bible clearly states that it is what we are to do.
What can you do for someone else today?