Friday, June 15, 2007

Typhoid Mary

Speaking of self-centeredness (see previous posting on Paris Hilton), I couldn’t help but think about that lawyer who, despite warnings, traveled on multiple international flights after having been diagnosed with tuberculosis. The focus has been on how communications had been bungled, yet he was given a clear diagnosis of TB. Anybody with such an infectious disease, even without knowing it was the drug-resistant type, should not have traveled. As a lawyer, you know he would have been the first in line to sue anybody who infected him on a flight, yet he put many people at risk.

I’m picking on this lawyer, who flagrantly ignored the interests of others for his own selfish reasons, but we all are guilty of self-centeredness. When our life is too self-absorbed, we are often jeopardizing other people. We don’t spend enough time with our kids because we have other priorities, and the family suffers. Marriages break up because of self-centeredness: “If you can’t meet all of MY needs, I’m outta here.” People don’t come to church because they would rather sleep in or go shopping, and the family’s spiritual life suffers.

Let me suggest that you and I become a little less self-centered and a little more other-centered. Let’s begin to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 2:3-4:
“When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.” (NCV)
If we follow these principles, then the world just might become a little better.

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