I was born in 1982, so I’m part of the micro generation between X and Y that some call the Xennials. I identify more with the Xers, but empathize with the experiences described by a lot of Millennials too. One of the things this generation is most ridiculed for is the so-called “it’s all about me” attitude. But, maybe the problem isn’t that we think it’s all about us too much. Maybe it’s that we don’t think this enough! I’d like to set the record straight here and now: it is all about me.
This first popped into my mind when I was thinking about the well-known Southern phrase, “Bless your heart.” While this is sometimes expressed sincerely, it is more often a way to insult someone without, as they say, “Bein’ ugly.” This reminds me of another rhetorical expression, “If you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig.” The problem is that my judgements and opinions about another have little to do with him or her and everything to do with me. Just putting a little sugar on it doesn’t mean that my heart is open. In other words, it is all about me.
This isn’t the only thing that is all about me either. In fact, most of what bothers me about the world it’s all about me. When I hold a grudge, the choice to forgive is all about me. When I get jealous about another’s accomplishments, it’s all about me. When I grow impatient at another person’s pace, it’s all about me. When I feel socially uncomfortable about my children’s behavior, it’s all about me. When I’m frustrated with how my wife loads the dishwasher, it’s all about me. You get the picture. My emotions are my responsibility, not someone else’s. So it really is all about me. If I don’t take ownership of that, then I won’t have much to offer the community.
There is more though. It is not just my feelings that are all about me. Whatever circumstance I encounter today is all about me as well. For whatever reason, God placed me there to take action. And I can assure you that is was not so that I could shake my head, roll my eyes, or mumble that “somebody should do something about that.” If it is in front of me, I am the somebody. When I see someone who is hungry, that is all about me. When I come across injustice, that is all about me. If I see that someone else is in pain, that is all about me too.
Just because it is all about me, doesn’t mean that it is not all about you either. In fact, it is all about you too. Don’t buy the lie that your shining light somehow dims someone else’s. I happen to believe that everyone can indeed deserve a trophy. Each of us was created with innate value and carries a divine light within us. Let’s spend a little more time letting ours shine and a little less trying to put someone else’s out.