Number One

24 Oct

We live in a world with billions of people and there are more and more of us each day. Unless we live somewhere in the wilderness or someplace so remote that we are the only one inhabiting it, we will see others around us all the time. They pass us on the street, in our cars, in the store, and everywhere we go. Having compassion for them, helping them, and acknowledging them makes the world a better place. But some of us have the idea that we need only look out for number one – ourselves. They make sure all their needs and wants are met before they are willing to extend themselves, and when they do, there must be something in it for them. There are benefits to looking out for number one, and we certainly are responsible for taking care of ourselves. However, if we become the primary focus in our lives all the time, and if we have to benefit every time we do something, we might forget how important our connections are to those around us.

Most of us have a lot to take care of each day. We have our personal needs, our jobs, our schools, our families, and a dozen other things that require our attention. If we wanted to we could make sure not to commit to anything unless there is some bonus for us. We could ignore the phone when it rings because we don’t want to be bothered, pretend not to hear when others call our name because we don’t want to interrupt what we’re doing, and just focus on ourselves. If we do this routinely, we will be effective in making our lives the most important part of our days, but we will probably alienate everyone else who is close to us. There is nothing wrong with doing things we enjoy or making our choices a priority, and we should do everything important to us. But there needs to be a balance. We can do those things and still extend ourselves to those around us, and participate in the group.

Belonging to a community, interacting with others, extending our hands in friendship, and helping out, bring us great satisfaction and contentment. We learn about others, we exchange new ideas with them, and our lives are enriched because of the experiences we share. If we isolate ourselves from them, determined to just look out for number one, and see only what’s important to us, we miss the valuable experience of connecting. Feeling connected is important. It gives us a sense of foundation, a base, and makes us feel stronger, and safer. When we take the time to share ourselves, we develop relationships that brings us happiness, and we build a network of people who care about us. Others we can depend on, people who will help us when we need it, and buoy us up when we feel down. It’s a wonderful blessing to have the care of others, and we get that care when we extend it ourselves. It’s true that no man is an island. We’re all in this together. Remembering that will help us stay connected and find our place.

Today if you’ve been focusing on yourself and getting what you want, don’t forget those around you. They need your influence and welcome your attention. Extend yourself to them, care for them, and let them care for you. You have a lot to share, and they want to share in return. Be connected and reach out. The rewards will be great, and you’ll be happier.

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