I reached a breaking point today over selfish behavior, and I’m still not over it.
I vented on Facebook this morning…
“Been awake since midnight, my heart heavy over pain inflicted on loved ones by the utterly foolish, selfish acts of others. It’s just too much to write about here, but y’all…can we just be decent to one another? Be respectful. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Love selflessly. Consider others more important than yourself. I fail at all of those daily, but I try. It blows me away sometimes, how many don’t seem to even TRY to think beyond themselves.”
I was just going to let it go at that point, but it’s almost 24 hours later and I’m still struggling unusually hard to do that.
One of the downsides of raising teenagers is that you want to vent in detail about them, like you did when they were babies, but you also realize you need to respect their right to privacy, so you don’t. (I swear I need an anonymous blog for that purpose only!)
What I can say is that while all the books tell me that it’s normal for teens to be self-centered, the day-to-day immersion in selfishness exhausts me–way more than I anticipated. Then multiply it times three and I’m losing my ability to just brush it off as normal behavior.
I get so sick and tired of my teens treating me like a doormat instead of as a real human being with feelings of my own.
Especially when their selfishness keeps me up all night for various reasons, and it’s not my choice to stay up.
Especially when a 5:30 a.m bedtime leaves me with a nasty headache that I can’t take ibuprofen for because I’m having surgery later this week.
My mood has not been good today, y’all.
The upside to being up all night is that I was awake when a friend needed to vent. Again, I will try to protect privacy, but I was horrified by what she told me.
Something tragic happened at her middle-schooler’s football game last night. A fight began, started by an adult spectator heckling some of the kids. Now, first of all, these are KIDS playing football. Heckling them for any reason is completely absurd and, in my opinion, totally unacceptable. They’re supposed to be having fun at this age, not being pressured to perform.
Well, it all got out of hand and a real fist fight broke out. She said the bleachers were emptying and everything. Police had to be called to break it up–with their guns drawn.
What a mess!
What an utterly lousy example being set for young men, while they’re at the rawest age for learning what it means to be a man. And how scary for everyone!
But that’s not even the worst of it.
The father of one of her son’s teammates DIED. Dropped dead of a heart attack from all the stress, at the age of 44.
Her description of the son’s grief is imagery that I can’t get out of my mind.
And even though I didn’t know the victim, he’s haunted me all day long. A young family was devastated, a child watched his father die, all because a pot-stirring individual didn’t stop to consider the broader impact of his words.
It was odd timing to have two scenarios of utter selfishness playing out before me in the wee hours this morning. Then I logged on later to a barrage of political posts and all the selfish name-calling just left me feeling despair.
I feel so very, very DONE.
In 2 Timothy 3, the Bible talks about how men will become lovers of self in the last days, and I do believe we’re seeing that playing out around us.
But of course we can trace selfishness back to the Garden of Eden. It’s nothing new under the sun.
As far as I can see, the only solution to self-centeredness is to walk as Jesus walked. To, as the word says in Philippians 2: 3-5:
“Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves]. Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others. Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:]”
Why does this have to be so hard?