I have had a lot of musing to myself about why I don’t have friends and the few I get, I just can’t seem to maintain them. Till it came to me in a blinding flash: I was a very selfish and self-absorbed individual.
It’s not like I didn’t care about people at all… well, I didn’t really, let me be honest with myself. I was the type of person that got easily bored by people whenever they began to talk about themselves and I’m pretty sure that I could barely conceal this lack of interest on my part. I liked to talk about myself and hold the attention of my audience but this was not always possible, sadly.
I also was not exactly the charitable type of person. Any form of help that I saw as an inconvenience, I was most unlikely to render it, unless out of the hope that you too will render such help to me in future. It was always me, myself and I… no one else. I felt entitled and I wanted people to help me materially. In my dealings with others, I was always thinking of how useful a potential friend or acquaintance could be to me, never mind the fact that I would have been deeply hurt at the suggestion that a person wanted to be friends with me based on the material help I could offer such a person. It was really silly of me to have had such a deeply-ingrained mental attitude.
What do I mean by mental attitude? Mental attitude is a fixed set of ideas about oneself and in relation to the world around one. By the world, I refer to the humans that comprise one’s environment. From my own observation, I have come to see that one’s mental attitude is what is primarily responsible for one’s fate in life, not merely the belief in a deity or the absence thereof.
Back to the topic at hand… I was the type of person who didn’t believe in altruism, because I felt that it was not possible for one to entirely forget oneself in service to others. I felt offended by the notion that one should forget oneself and put the other person first, as though I was not important. I was offended by the dictum that I should think of myself last in order to be a selfless person. Now, I have a better way of not being a selfish person. I call it unselfishness, because I still don’t believe it is possible or healthy for a person to aspire to forget oneself in service to humanity.
In my own version of unselfishness, I aspire to cultivate and show as much interest in the life of other people as I do in mine, at the same time I am thinking of myself. Whereas previously I was the type of person who could not naturally add value to an employer, now I try to show as much interest in the welfare of the employer I work for as I do in my paycheck. I try to cultivate this attitude within me consciously and I affirm everyday (y’all must have noticed I’m a fan of positive affirmations) that people treat me in ways that make me take as lively a concern and interest in them as I do in my own life, at the same time I am take interest in my life. I have seen this work for me and now, people open up to me more readily than before. Someone even offered me a job which sadly I couldn’t take because I am not into graphics design. (sighs)
If you have ever struggled with clinical depression, know that apart from taking meds, you need to change your mental attitude, because in my own experience, I have seen that deeply ingrained beliefs and thoughts in relation to oneself and the world around one can either make you joyous or depressed.
Here’s to a life filled with unselfish love and laughter…
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