Saturday, September 11, 2010

Me too egotism

Lately I've caught myself practicing "me too egotism."

I will be listening to someone else relating an experience, and instead of offering sympathy or praise, or even just simply listen, I will find some way to interject a somehow related experience I had. Even into conversations I was not originally part of.

I do it not to show the person he/she is not alone. I do it not to offer comfort. I do it not to draw the other person out more.

I do it to draw attention to myself.

And too often the other person's moment is overshadowed.

I need to be more concerned about the other person's feelings and needs. I need to practice the arts of humility and silence more.

Pax et bonum


MikeF said...

I'm afraid this is all too often my own experience, Lee. Thank you for reminding me of that need for prayer and silence...

Do Not Be Anxious said...

If God has blessed us with some measure of wisdom, we all see this in ourselves, Lee. I had my own awakening on this one day in a meeting, where a low-level attendee, not fully aware of the complexities of the situation under discussion, made a naive comment. I ignored it and moved on, but I caught sight of her embarrassment, and she never spoke there again.

Afterward, I realized my error. I was treating her and all others only for their contribution to the topic, like dictionaries or reference books in which I was searching for information. I forgot she was a child of God, unique, with unique things to contribute to this world --- and yes, to my meetings. I apologized to her, and from then on tried to always find something positive to say about any contribution to a meeting, or even a casual comment to me on the street.

I admit I often fail. But the first step to improvement is awareness. I thank God for that wisdom.