The Casting Dock

doesn’t matter if it’s about you; it’s still about me. somehow.

I think about this a lot.
About how we are crazy self-centered creatures.
Our perverse minds spin circumstances wholly unrelated to us to somehow be a reflection on us. Someone else’s achievements feel like indictments of our own. We can feel defensive, self-conscious, or jealous. Even when that achievement has literally nothing to do with us. Our weirdly self-centered nature makes it feel like it does.

My kids at school do this all the time. I say to Jimmy, I just love the way you are quietly sitting criss cross with your eyes on me and all of a sudden Ben yells out, I’m sitting quietly too! In recognizing Jimmy, I am not saying anything negative to Ben. In fact, I’m not saying anything at all to Ben and yet he feels the immediate need to make a case for himself.

And someone else’s failures, once again wholly unrelated to us, can be encouraging or at the very least relieving to us. As if by comparison our own egos were at stake and ultimately spared.

We are crazy self-centered.
Abundant social psychological terms describe it, but truly we make everything about ourselves. Even situations that literally have nothing to do with us.

I know it’s a natural human impulse.
And there’s nothing wrong with impulse.
But wouldn’t it be wonderful if we recognized that impulse at first light and redirected it–redirected it to the person who is actually the subject of the circumstance in question, not ourselves.

Taking joy in others’ achievements and offering support in moments of failure.
Complete, genuine joy; selfless, whole-heart support.
I know some people are quite good at this, but I often wonder how many people offer truly selfless joy and support, without first thinking of the implications for themselves.

No comparison. No reflection on ourselves.

I just think that’d be divine.

 

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