Friday, August 26, 2011

Storm Watch and a Cure for Narcissism

I’ve had an article from our local paper floating around on my desk for several days. Can’t get it off my mind. In it, University of Georgia Psychologist, Keith Campbell, says narcissism is increasing in America.

“…National Institutes of Health surveys …show rising scores on a test designed to measure narcissism-and corresponding decline in scores that measure compassion for others,” the article claims.

A few days later, an editorial appeared in the paper that suggested a solution for this problem. The editor said, “One way for each of us to put a check on our own narcissistic tendencies might be to focus on other people.” The editor went on to say, “…it might be wise for each of us to look for opportunities each day—no matter how small they might seem—to lighten someone else’s load.”

Writer and actor Torry Martin makes a habit of spending the first part of his day promoting others. In fact, he helps to set the tone at conferences by his example of placing more emphasis on connecting others than making connections for himself.

The chorus of a song by Charles Meigs written early in the last century, goes like this:

"Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be,
Help me to live for others,
That I may live like Thee."

As we’ve watched Hurricane Irene bear down on the East Coast, I’d say those of us not in harm’s way in the next few days, are going to be given a premier opportunity to live out the meaning of these lyrics. Our prayers are going up for all those in the storm’s path.

Let’s think about what we can do to help those who may potentially suffer  the effects of this storm. Samaritan’s Purse is a good option, because their aid goes out wrapped in the love of Jesus. Of course, we could also do some hands on ministry.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

After a day of marketing in this “shameless, self promotion” world of writing and publishing, I’m so ready to think of someone other than myself.

"Others, Lord, yes, others."

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