"I am Special" is a term often heard today. It's told to children at home, in school, and engrained into our heads. However, as I was told this weekend, it's the reason why the 1982-2006 generation is the most narcassitic in history. It's all about us. Me, me, me. I count myself in this group, if not because of age, but because of mentality. This "me" attitude stems from the self-esteem movement that occurred in '80's. Unfortunately, it's gone too far. How many times do you hear," I want this, or I want that, or I need this?" We don't often hear, "How can I help you, what can I do for you, what can I get you?" You can see it in the eyes of young people. It's a greedy, self-absorded, indivdualistic, I'm the most important in the world look.
I'm guilty of it. Too many times I think I need this or I should do that or I want to go see that just because I want to. It's about entertaining me, keeping me happy, watching out for me. What fools we are! If we're not careful we're going to become so self-absorbed that we won't know how to ask for help when we need it. Service towards others has become forgotten. Helping the less fortunate has been replaced with helping ourselves to the next best thing. We crave the newest gadget, hottest movies, coolest cars. Others aren't given a second glance. Praise for others is rarely heard, and we relish in hearing our work praised.
Now, I'm not saying parents shouldn't say, "I'm proud of you," or "You did well." Every person needs self-esteem. They need to be able to stand up tall and know that they are special but not at the expense of others. Not in a way that they only think of themselves, only look out for themselves. We are special because each of us is unique, gifted, and priceless, but part of that is due to our interactions with others. We are best when we share with others, then our individual characteristics shine. Only while serving others do we truly serve ourselves and find the truth and hope inside us. Looking towards others is what really makes us special. That's why God calls us to serve others. Jesus knew that living and interacting with others made him special in God's eyes. The Pharisees were all about "me" and God couldn't stand them. It's not easy to throw away this "I am special" mentality. It's become ingrained into society and a natural way of life, but it's a life that isn't making us special. On the contrary, turning outward truly is special.