Saturday, February 25, 2017

For Self or For Others?

As I think about national politics, I wondered what is at the root of the divides that exist. I wonder if some are choosing religious beliefs over our country's Constitution. I wonder if some are choosing for rights of a particular race, culture, gender, or geographical area over the welfare of the whole country? I wonder if some are choosing for personal gain rather than community gain?

When it comes down to it, I think we all struggle with the question of for self or for others? When do you choose or advocate for self, and when do you put that energy into efforts for others? Ideally when we choose for self, we also choose for others--that's when it's easy. But often this question creates a dilemma of choice, voice, and action.

Simply, this occurs in family life all the time. If you have a few extra dollars, who do you spend those dollars on--your parents, children, self, neighbors? The same is true for time--how and where do you use your time? When do you sacrifice time and money in order to help others, and when do you choose to spend that time or money on your self?

What efforts impact self and/or others well? Is it true that you sometimes think you're choosing others, when in reality, you are choosing self? And are there times when you deny self in order to serve others, but then truly serve no one.

How do you choose when it comes to the question of for self or others? What criteria do you use? How do you discuss this question with those you love most?

As in all things, I believe a balanced, thoughtful approach works best. You can't give to all or be all, but you can choose to give regularly to those you love and those in your communities of work and living. You can't totally deny yourself or else you won't have anything to give.

As I think of politics today, I wonder about our leaders too--are they choosing for self or for others? What criteria and process do they use to choose? How can each of us affect their choices with our time and effort too?

It's a complex world, and to navigate it well demands that we ponder questions like this one. It's also important that we recognize that while we hold some influence, we can't predict or impact all decisions.

What do you think about this question? I'm curious?