“Yeah it’s all about the Benjamins baby!”
When you were born, it was all about you! And you let everyone know when you aren’t happy. I’m hungry! “WOUAAA” I’m tired! “WUOAAA” There’s something warm in my diaper! “WOUAAAAAAA” As you grow older you eventually realize that it is not all about you and that other people’s desires are just as important (if not more important) than your own. We see this in our relationships with everyone. In a conversation, one person will talk about something they are interested in and then the next person, and the next person, and so on. Not too many people want to be around someone who just focuses on themselves the whole time. It is very interesting to step back and take a look at who talks the most and who the least. It is a study of personality and beliefs and self-worth. We do learn it is not all about us in practice but do we ever learn this lesson in our thought life?
This concept is one that is easy to know in your head but hard to practice. What do we think about all day as people? We think about what am I going to do next? What am I going to eat? When am I going to eat? What should I wear? How should I talk? How should I walk? Obviously your minds think all about you all the time. Of course it would be weird if we asked those questions about other people (What is she going to eat?)
I recently realized that my mind never got over thinking about me. Of course I think it is only logical since Puff Daddy wrote a song about me! It wasn’t enough for my mind to think about me but I thought that everyone else was thinking about me too. I mean, why not? I’m Beeeeeennnnnn Diener! I’m a BIG deal! :)
Recently I had a friend (no not any of you) who wasn’t returning my phone calls, or e-mails, or text for MONTHS and I began to feel anger towards this person. “This person must be intentionally ignoring me,” I thought. Then one day it finally clicked that it is not all about the Benjamin… It is a sad realization I know… I had thought that that since I was thinking about me all the time, this person must be as well! I realized that this person had been so busy and so stressed that he/she was not able to return my calls; all I could think about was me and how I wasn’t getting to hang out with this person. My anger was caused by a good desire (wanting to hang out) not being met. And that anger was directed at someone who didn’t have time to think about Benjamin because he/she had so many issues to deal with. Instead of being angry I should have been praying for this person and offered my time when this person wanted my company.
Am I crazy for thinking this way? Once I realized that it was not all about me, the anger subsided. Generally I prefer to be not angry over being angry if I have the choice. Even if this person was just ignoring me I shouldn’t let the action of another control my happiness. Therefore I chose to believe that I am not the reason I was not getting a call back. Honestly, I’m sure that I have unintentionally made other people angry by putting my desires over their desires. It is just a game of give and take.