We were visiting a family to help the mother celebrate her 45th birthday.
Whilst there, their 22 year old son arrived home. The first thing he did was ask his father for some money, then he asked his mother to do his washing, raided the fridge and left. Not once did he say “Hi” to anyone. He didn’t even wish his mother a happy birthday even after his father had text him letting him know that it was her special day.
A guest asked “Is he always like this?”
“Yes. He thinks the whole world revolves around him.”
I began thinking about how often we hear comments like this.
While we have come to expect it from young children, we don’t expect it from older teenagers or young adults.
I asked my parents (both in their 90’s) their thoughts on this topic. They both agreed that when they were children, they were taught to consider others. If they showed disrespect in any way, they were punished.
In that era, there was no back-chatting, swearing at parents or ‘using’ someone for your own good. It was all about working together and helping each other.
After receiving Birthday cards, my parents personally write to each person thanking them for their card and best wishes.
Outside the older generation, how many people do that these days?
I recently watched a television program called “Commandos” where they outlined what it took to graduate to be a Commando. Very few people pass all the tests to become this elite soldier. One of the qualities they must possess is the ability to always think of their fellow team members.
If these young soldiers can do it, why can’t we all do it?
This got me thinking about why some people think life is all about them.
I knew, at one level, it is because getting their own way makes them feel good. They feel in control. Someone is willing to do something for them so it shows others care for them.
I then thought, “Shouldn’t we grow out of that? Adults definitely shouldn’t be that way.”
I began pondering where it all starts.
At birth we are born totally dependent on someone to look after us both physically and emotionally. We have needs and those needs have to be met.
We have to be fed so we need to let someone know we are hungry. We need our nappy changed so we cry to let someone know we are in discomfort. Our teeth are coming through so we let someone know we are experiencing pain.
Most of these needs are communicated through crying. And most mothers know there is a different cry for when their baby is upset as to when they are hungry or in pain.
Babies need to get what they want to survive. They can be deemed selfish as it is all about them.
As we grow, and especially when we enter teenage years, we should be learning how it is also about others. It’s not only receiving, it is also about giving and helping others.
Some adults still have the ‘baby’ outlook. They only want to do what suits them. They never consider anyone else. They seldom help another – unless they get something out of it. In its extreme, they don’t recognize loved ones birthdays or special occasions yet they want everyone to recognize their birthday and special occasions. You are expected to do what they want and at the time they want it.
These people can be so frustrating to deal with.
Life is about giving.
It is important to give to yourself as well as give to others.
This shows consideration, respect, care and a willingness to help.
With the world constantly changing, the younger generation is more of “It’s all about me” attitude. This could be because:
* They are left alone after school (with both parents working) so always get to do what they want and learn how to only satisfy their own needs,
* They have parents who only consider themselves,
* They play games (especially computer and television games) or sports that only involve one player so learn to rely on themselves,
* They are not taught how to give, consider or help others,
* They have less interaction with an older generation who are into giving.
It’s important to develop an attitude of considering and wanting to help others. It’s also important we teach our children how to do the same.