Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Secret Allure of Selfishness is Becoming Intoxicating

Calling on the World:

Please Help Me Stop My Downward Spiral Into Selfishness

For the past two decades of my life, I have tried my best to operate under the premise that I greatly benefit myself, my community, my country and the world at large when I help others, when I contribute to  the greater good,  when I recognize the needs of others first, and when I remain open-minded.

The costs and risks associated with simply being kind, after all, are minimal.

A few weeks ago while browsing at Big Lots I fell in love with an $8 sign that reads “Kind is Cool”, and I brought it home to hang on the wall in my kitchen because I believe that being kind should be considered cool by everyone, and I want guests in my home to see the sign and ponder all the meaning that these three little words strung together pack in.

Recently, however, I have experienced a rapid onslaught of happenstances in my life, some of which on a normal day might seemingly be trivial and some much more complicated but none insurmountable, but all of which have left me with a hankering for becoming selfish.  Strung together over a more than two week period these happenstances have left me on this Sunday afternoon feeling exhausted and nearly overwhelmed as I blog from my bed.

This period of onslaught you might recall began after a very short lull of peacefulness in my life that followed two years of ducking and dodging and fighting for my life during colon cancer treatment, chemotherapy, shingles, unending invasive medical tests and now the auto-immune disorder ulcerative colitis. Ironically, the doctors tell me that the UC was brought on by the chemotherapy that arguably saved my life.

Folks that know me well know that I don’t often complain about personal ailments or my stress level as a result of them. They also know that I am not very good at asking for help from friends when I may need it and that I am even worse at accepting help from others when they offer it. It can be blatantly clear that I am struggling physically due to my health or my emotions as a result, and I will hold my head up and declare “Please stop mothering me. I am fine. Now go on with yourself and leave me alone”.  The best option for the people in my life when wanting to help is simply to go ahead and do what they think might be helpful for me because they learn quickly that if they ask me if they can help my response will be “No. I’ve got this.”  Right or wrong, that’s just my effed up nature I guess.

Sunday Afternoon Blogging from Bed


Stick with me please, I promise all of this is going to come full circle and be relevant to the headline of this post teasing my unwanted spiral into selfishness. The headline was not a bait and switch.

I am not going to describe the details of the onslaught of happenstances I reference in order to protect the innocent, as they say. What I mean by that is to say that the details of each event I was maneuvering around happened in full view of people who were also asking something of me simultaneously, and by describing the events I would, in essence, be finger pointing at individuals who, in my opinion, should have recognized that I needed to handle my own personal business before I could be of any assistance to them. Had the roles been reversed and I was one of the sidelining observers, it would have been crystal clear to me that if Robert isn’t ok, then he can certainly not be of any assistance to me. Offering too many details could make these sideliners feel bad and firstly, that is not the point of this posting, but more importantly, to refer back to my first paragraph, ....

it would not be kind, right?

Let me just say that in many of these moments, I wanted nothing more than to scream as loudly as possible, “Are you fucking kidding me? Are you blind? You can see what I am in the middle of dealing with so until I resolve this, how the hell can I be of any help to you? Now, back the fuck up!”. But, if you already know me or have gotten to know me somewhat through this blog, then you already know that that is the opposite of what I said and did. I simply took a deep breath, forced a smile, interrupted my life and said, “Sure, how can I help you?”

It is the increasingly often times in my life as of late that I have to “suck it up” that have me laying here today pondering a new life of selfishness. It’s a struggle for me to imagine going full steam ahead with a life of being selfish, but the allure of it is becoming intoxicating, 

like the secret allure
 a fix for a recovering addict  is intoxicating.

My downward spiral into selfishness could be easily avoided I feel if people would merely make a conscious effort to survey what is happening around them, take inventory of other people’s needs and proceed carefully before asking things of others. Timing is everything, after all, don’t they say? However, in my life lately, it seems as if tRump’s mantra “America First” for many people has morphed into “Me First”, and if it is happening to me, I would place a good bet that it is more often happening in your lives as well.

 So, I will leave you with the following to ponder.

Do your best to take inventory of your surroundings and survey the needs of others before you take the risk of sending someone over the edge into a life of selfishness because they have grown tired of being too kind to say no. If we all practiced this the best we are able in our daily lives, I venture to say that a world of kindness and opportunity would become the norm at a very little cost to the “Me First” generations.

Please, please feel free to comment and add your thoughts to today's blog post.

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