Of late, one of the topics of conversation at the coffee table has been about the 11 plagues of self-centeredness, which seems to have overtaken all too many of us these days.
We first discussed the notion that we don’t remember hearing so many members of the earlier generations having “I” problems. Most of them seemed to know the plural nouns and talked about “we,” “us,” “our,” instead of “I”, “me,” “mine.” The question posed had to do with why we are seeing the major changes focusing on self.
As we talked, we seemed to agree that the dullest subject we could contemplate was “self.” Although we were each guilty of using first person singular as we talked, we were using it mainly to refer to our personal opinions. After all, none of us felt compelled to use the Papal “we,” the royal “we,” or even the editorial “we” because we were expressing our individual thoughts.
Unfortunately, we came up with known examples to support the idea of so many who tend to focus on themselves. In each case, we gave all too many examples of said self-centered self-centeredness in order to prove our points.
As we continued our visit, we realized how often each of us falls into the middle of that plague, but we also realized that we don’t tend to wallow in it indefinitely because we have far more interesting subjects to talk about.
Often we talk about personal experiences in order to make a point or merely to tell a tale, but we usually include other individuals who were involved in those same experiences, thus getting rid of the “I” syndrome.
Some of us even recalled being told by our parents to avoid centering everything on ourselves. They wanted us to learn to share the spotlight and to be willing to let others have center stage when they earned it.
We even learned that by staying in the background, we could learn much more about life than by trying to steal the show in order to think of ourselves only.
We noted in one of our visits that most of us could point out the self-centered people just by observing their actions for a few minutes.
We then made a game of it and had great fun learning more about ourselves and others. We even decided at one point that we had to be a bit self-centered in order to recognize traits in others.
That was a bit of a blow to our egos as we were trying to hide from such traits.
We really didn’t come up with an acceptable answer to what has caused so much self-centeredness, but we had a good chance to look more carefully at ourselves and to see if we could work to rid ourselves of some of that selfishness.
Let’s just see what can be done.