Look Beyond The Self
Look Beyond the Self!
You hear a lot of people these days say it’s a selfish world out there. But if you look deeper at the same people who say, you’ll find out that many of them are also selfish. Selfishness is a very common thing to see in our daily lives and well it’s not necessarily such a bad thing as it is often painted. There are times when a human may need to be selfish, if you had only one vaccine and you had to choose to save your own life, your partner’s life, the life of our loving parent or the life of a total stranger, who would you save? The answer to this question regardless of your choice only highlights that there are situations that kicks in our selfish side.
Even with this realization, I do not believe we should be selfish all the time which has prompted me to write something on the subject “Look beyond the self”. You see while there are times when it makes sense to be selfish, there are also more times when we need to think beyond ourselves. And those times hold more value and meaning for our lives than the times we just focus on the self.
A lot of people fail to realize the value in building relationships with people when they have the chance. And this is mostly because they didn’t put in much effort to be there or just care beyond their selfish desires or needs. The thing about not forming strong relationships with others by looking beyond just ourselves is that you lose out on those people. And having strong connections with various people in life usually worth more than your material acquisitions. The value of one human cannot really be measured in physical terms because the dimensions of a human is infinite. Investing in building relationships with people through first thinking beyond your own self, goes a really long way.
Looking beyond yourself and seeing the predicament of others bonds you together with them. There is no doubt that we all have our unique problems and challenges. Everyone has their own fair share of issues bothering them. But this sort of provides an opportunity to build stronger connections with other people if you actually try to “see” those people and what they are passing through. It is very hard to forget someone who made an effort to share your burden with you at a time when things were very difficult for you. People may forget what happened when everything was well with them. But in those few times when those people are in real need, they get to appreciate every little support or form of help that comes their way.
It's easy to make excuses and say things like, “I do not have time, I have work to do, so I hardly notice.” Or “I also have my own problems to face and nobody helps me, why bother about another?” These kinds of excuses actually make a lot of sense because anyone reasoning logically can understand it. But we have to be honest enough with ourselves to know that those explanations cannot stop us from doing what we really want to do! And that’s really key: “really wanting to reach out, drop your cares for a second and help someone else out in theirs.” All those excuses don’t stop us from eating food, helping out our own family/loved ones. So why’s it now stopping us from just seeing what another person is facing and figuring out how we can contribute?
It’s true we can’t be of assistance to everybody. The problems in this world are too much for one person to even attempt handling. But if you can ease out the burden for only ONE person around you, you have changed the world. It doesn’t have to be just your family or very close friends because for those people we just have to always do what we can for them. But what about your neighbor or a stranger who you have no ties with? Have you for one second looked beyond yourself and your family to think of how you can make life easier for those people?
You may not know the implication of what you are doing when you forget about our own cares for a second and help someone else out of theirs. It appears counterintuitive, but it holds real meaning and value. It may mean a whole lot to the few people you give your time and attention to. It may be the only thing keeping them from taking a very bad decision in their life. It may be the only act keeping them from taking their lives. It may be the only thing that puts a smile on their faces and gives them the hope for a better tomorrow.
Looking beyond yourself also helps you in a peculiar. When you pause on thinking about your own problems for a while and lend a hand to another, you will find yourself in that person. What do I mean? you will get to understand that the problem you think you are having, other people are facing something which may be worse. It will help you see that you are not alone in your own challenges. It will help you see that we all need each other and no one is really an island unto himself. You will appreciate what you currently have and be grateful that you are even in a position to help someone else out. People who suffer from depression usually overthink about just their own problem… if you have a problem with depression, maybe you can take a clue here and drop your thinking while seeking ways to help others out.
Asides from those benefits, these things have deep seated spiritual benefits attached to them. Somehow, you get to rediscover yourself in being there for other people. You find out that somehow your problems begin to solve themselves and more people willing to also assist you in your own challenges. You may not be able to explain it, but you will begin to notice it happen. You will find that you feel more fulfilled, happier and joyful when you look beyond just your challenges and help lift others through theirs.
Problems in this life do not end. What happens like Mark Manson said in his book “The subtle art of not giving a F*ck”, “…we get better problems as we solve problems and when we get better problems, we get a better life...”. So it holds real value to help others solve their problems when we are in a position to help them. That way we have made the world better one person at a time. The person you helped will be inspired to help another person in a struggling position tomorrow and that way these things can be paid forward.
There’s no magic wand to change the world. We change the world through the ONE thing which we find everywhere we go; PEOPLE! People are everywhere and you will meet people in different places and positions of authority in future. How you treat someone today, may be how they will treat you tomorrow when circumstances change. You might travel to different parts of the world and meet some people from your own home country who you may have met years ago. It’s a small world they say and everything goes in cycles. That’s the power of NOW, this moment! Because whatever you invest your time and energy to do right now has many things attached to it!
That singular act you did for someone else by thinking beyond your own self, might have generations forever tied to that singular act! That one person you bothered to help out might be the one who would create something that will help millions of other people to be in better conditions tomorrow. ONE action goes a long way. And that’s why we all have to learn to drop our cares for a while and really care about someone else. Helping them in the little way we can.
Even as selfish beings, let’s learn to look beyond ourselves sometimes.
Look beyond the self, help a soul and keep winning!
So what does it mean to really look beyond the self.