Thursday, January 28, 2010


My friends have described self-centered people they know as rude, flashy dressers, loud tone of voice, chatterbox without stopping and jumping from one topic to the next without relevance, they are the heroes in the stories they tell, they gripe and complain about everything and everyone, they have an ever-growing-smaller circle of true friends, they tend to be too demanding and least grateful, in a meeting or brainstorming session their ideas are the only correct ones, they can't maintain a long-term relationship, etc.

Funny, but inspite their outward appearance of having "power", they are mostly known to be hypochondriacs or those abnormally anxious about their health. They also tend to be devastated when the projects they are handling don't seem to flourish. Anyway, I know you would want to add more observations which will only further substantiate the deep-seated state of misery they are in.

We also know that the more you "go out of yourself", and the more helpful and compassionate you are towards others, the more peaceful and healthier you become! It's clear of course that you know problems will not magically disappear. They will still be there, but the magic is in the way you face them, with a lot of peace and objectivity, with the good ideas and solutions you have solicited from friends and from more experienced, wiser people.

You may want to add this small piece of prayer to your "Safety Vault" of antidotes to self-centeredness. Attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, Italy in 1181. In it, you only ask for the things you can do to help others:

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

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