Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Killing ourselves

Yikes, the title...

woah... let me explain...

Cay and I were having a discussion last week and I made a comment about a certain nationality that doesn't seem to have a clue of what is going on outside of it's own nation.

Actually I don't think this is just limited to nations, but to people - particularly ourselves. We get so centered on ourselves. I remember once when I was younger I was in a band competition and our band ended up doing pretty badly. All we wanted to do was win the competition that night. We wanted the glory of winning the medal. So imagine the disappointment when we didn't even make it to the final round. After the competition the band director came up to us and said...

"Well we didn't win tonight, and there are million people in Africa who are starving and don't give a shit."

It kinda put things into perspective at that moment and we continued on with our lives. Now many years have passed and I seem to have forgotten that lesson I learned long ago: Our problems, at the moment, seem big, but in grand scheme of things they are really quite inconsequential. And the world will continue and so will our lives. I learned after the competition that night that we should take our problems for what they are and not let them get the best of us. But there was something more that hit me that night. My band director opened my eyes to a world that was bigger.

There is so much crazy stuff that happens in the world... Did you know that 4 people died in Bahrain today? 4 people will never see the light of day again. The blessings (and curses) of modern media are that we can see all the crazy things that are happening in the world today. The curse is that we have heard about all these calamities in the world soooo often that we become quite numb to them now. I think sometimes the Moscow Airport Bomb Explosion may have had the same affect on some people as Bear Hibernation. Sorry I digressed.

As we were watching the events of the Egyptian revolution unfold over the past weeks in Cairo on our TV I felt a small twinge of discomfort, and 5 minutes later I went back to sipping my tea. The next morning as I was at my desk at work I caught a glance of my coworker (who happened to be from Egypt) as he/she was passing. It turns out that his/her family members have been involved in the riots, and he/she was afraid for their lives. He was praying to God/Allah for all of this to be over so he could know if they were safe. Wow. Big reality check.

I then made it my duty everyday to ask how he/she was doing in the midst of all of the chaos that was ensuing. I also prayed for his family whenever I could.

Yeah we have our problems. God knows I have a lot of them, and my lady wife knows that I have them too. But the thing is that there is a huge world out there that is suffering. Actually, forget the world out there. There are people in your family, circle of friends, work, bowling club, etc. that are in pain. (Take my wife for example - she is super pregnant now... love u honey) But you wouldn't know because you are so caught up in your issues. I know I am, and I thank God for my wife for bringing me out them everyday.

Therefore I say again what I said in the beginning of the blog.

We need to kill our "selves"

Stop obsessing about what you do or do not have.

We need to kill that constant fixation on our own suffering and look to needs of others who are in way worse shape than us. I don't believe that this is a form of ignoring our problems and pushing them aside; because the thing is that our problems will never disappear entirely. We will always struggle and be faced with challenges. It's called life people! It is not easy. It is a journey. And not some wimpy stroll around the park journey, but a perilous one that requires you to get outside of yourself live for something greater than just you. I am a man of faith and I believe that there is an end (and a beginning). Furthermore, I believe that at the end there is more. I believe that we will stand and be held accountable for what we did in our lives. And I do believe that we will be held accountable not so much for what we did wrong, but for what we DID right and what we did with what was given to us. How much did we love?

Side note: I want to take those people who blog about living carefree lives and spank them with their father's belts.

I believe we were made to love extraordinarily, and I believe that when we look to the needs of others and help them carry their burdens we will realize that our burdens are not as heavy. We are not alone in this challenge of life. We are one. We are our brother's keeper and we must love till the end. It's freakin tough. And we can't begin until we kill our "selves."


  1. If you need some help remembering about the significance of "problems", here's a blog to follow by a girl we know from college. The challenges are large, but she handles them with amazing grace.

  2. i'm so thankful that you began blogging again! you offer so much goodness in each of your entries. thank you for the reminders & even for the 'spankings'...

    i look forward to staying tuned on this blog...

    much love to the both of yous!

  3. Kindred spirits is how Joey described your relationship. I see it... :) this "self" is what psychology identifies as the "ego". We would be an amazing species if we could remove ourselves from this every now and then. It is the superfluous desire to proclaim, to define, and to BE without consideration to the ramifications of the act while in pursuit of satisfying the ego.

  4. Tula... so good to hear from you! Thank you for your support sister. I hope all is well and we will be sure to post good stuff on here.

    atkyh... right on.