Fortune Cookie Friday: Take Yourself out of the Picture
The world has changed dramatically with the advent of social media. It used to take days or months for correspondence to make it to its destination when we sent written letters by horseman or boat. The time lessened, and the distance grew with the use of inventions such as the telegraph and the telephone. Now we can instant message people across continents.
Unfortunately, many of the messages we send have become stories boasting about ourselves, or things we have done. We ramble on in Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter about the latest stuff we’ve done. We share selfie pictures with family, friends, and even strangers. Our huge world, full of 7.6 billion people (and growing), has become all about “me, me, me.”
What we are supposed to be doing is thinking of others. Instead, we are screaming for the spotlight. Is it any wonder few people care about important issues. We crave “likes,” or “shares,” when we should be looking for enlightenment and grace.
So, what are are we going to do about it? Please allow me to offer some suggestions.
Stop the Selfies
Sharing oodles of pictures of us at the park, at school, or in our cars, doesn’t make us better people. It makes us vain, especially if we spend a significant amount of the day looking for the perfect backdrop for our smiling faces.
Instead of pulling out the selfie-stick to snap a shot our big fat head blocking a view of wherever we are, at least consider asking someone else to take the picture. If it’s not important enough to involve someone else, you probably don’t need a photograph of it.
Better yet, we should take ourselves out of the picture altogether. By taking beautiful shots of grand vistas or fun events, we can show others what we experienced. Sharing the experience is better than showing it off.
Instead of going on to social media to talk about ourselves, we should spend more time sharing stories about others. Raving about our favorite band, author, or restaurant, enables us to share a personal experience and information. It is also a way to show devotion through a compliment.
When it comes to people close to us, sharing compliments might seem easy. Accepting them can be a challenge. We are instructed to be humble, but humility might not come naturally. If we feel uncomfortable receiving a compliment or notice ourselves fawning over the praise, say, “Thank you. It’s very kind of you to notice.” Now we are complimenting the person who complimented us. Bam! We’re doing the Humble Shuffle.
Be Grateful In Private
Let’s face it; we like it when good things happen to us. It is okay to be happy when we do well on a test if we worked hard at studying, for example. Those good vibes are like a tasty dessert. We should feel sated afterwards. If we overeat, we’ll get sick to our stomachs.
We shouldn’t boast about our accomplishments like we are the best in the world. Oh, we can record our experience for resumes or online references if necessary, but tooting our own horn is rude. Nobody likes a showoff. My suggestion would be to savor the moment with a pleasant smile, and later thank God in quiet prayer if you so desire.
We are human, and we will eventually make mistakes. Owning up to those mistakes can be tough. There isn’t much that is more humbling than apologizing. That’s because we have to say three of the most difficult words: I was wrong.
No one wants to admit they are wrong and our stubborn pride keeps us from apologizing. If we let this continue, it can ruin our relationships with others. Not owning up to our mistakes can lead to lying and deceit, and others will not trust us. Eating a little humble pie is good food for the soul.
Last but Not Least
Putting others before ourselves is something we should strive for every day. It is the basis of a compassionate, caring lifestyle. When we eat with family and friends, perform our jobs at work, or even when we pray, we should focus on ourselves last. Letting other be served before we serve ourselves is an excellent way to be humble.
Practicing humility every day, will make us not only better people but also a better, less-selfish world. If you think you got humility down to a knack, I’m proud of you. Just don’t let it go to your head.