being a teacher, community, difference, hopes, self

We are Not Born Selfish

As I watch my daughter interact, I realize that we are not born selfish. Instead we become it as our lives turn into one long competition for more, bigger, better. This can be seen in school where many teachers suffer under constant business or stress, and if they are not suffering from it, they are a rarity. I used to be one of those teachers, too busy to even think some time, until I realized that by projecting this frantic persona, I was being selfish.

When you are constantly busy, or claiming to be, you shut yourself off to others. People realize that you will not be able to help, because you are too busy; you will not give them that precious time they may need, because you have too much to do. This is detrimental to furthering personal connections. When people stay out of your way because you are frantic, they often do not come back.

So when you return to school, make a conscious effort to turn off your busyness. Instead open yourself up to others. When someone approaches you for help or an extra hand, give it to them, even if it interferes with prep time. This small gesture of giving time fosters goodwill in your environment. When we actively help others, they notice and they in turn may help others as well. We all know that helping breeds helping, so why not live it? I know we are busy, all people are, but it is how we choose to deal with that busyness that makes the difference. So remember that doing something that may seem inconvenient to you may make a huge difference to someone else. Don’t be selfless but be less selfish.

6 thoughts on “We are Not Born Selfish”

  1. I believe that we are born selfish. It is only through the washing and rebirth through the Holy Spirit that we can be acceptable in God's sight. And then as we go through life, we struggle with the sinful nature that we were born into. We struggle with selfishness.But more pertaining to you post – You make a good point that people who display a "frantic" attitude are pushing people away. However, I disagree with you remedy. I strive to be honest with my time, rather than give off an air of "busyness". It is good to give to others your time, but if you are unable, it is OKAY to respectfully say no.Boundaries need to be set in all relationships in life. When we set healthy boundaries, we feel healthier emotionally and are more able to be less selfish in our relationships.Self sacrificing is good, but only healthy when done in a HONEST context.

  2. Thank you so much for your excellent comment, I believe honesty is always the best way to be with any people. So yes, busyness can absolutely be a real thing, and it is certainly alright to say no when you do not have time. Your final comment also resonates with me and is also what I mean to say with my final sentence (you just said it better). I do not think we should sacrifice ourselves, however, often the busyness I see or refer to is the wind yourself up into a franctic tiss rather than being swamped. We can all be busy, how we deal with it, is the difference.

  3. OH MY GOODNESS do I ever love this post! I teach part-time and serve as curriculum coordinator part time – and have learned the hard way that when I allow the tasks to rule my days – and become frantic… people do stay out of my way and don't approach me for the help and support I am "frantically" trying to give them!Today was a great day – to share, greet, catch-up with staff… and it was so good to slow down and interact – rather than be SELFISH. While I want to become more focused this year… I also want to never be so busy that I don't have time for PEOPLE.“My whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted, until I discovered the interruptions were my work.” ~~ Henri Nouwen

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