MUSIC, LEADERSHIP, CULTURE… and humor (sometimes)

arguably the greatest challenge known to man

i don’t know if you’ve noticed but i love to speak in grand generalities and this has been both a great thing and an annoying/controversial thing for some. i love talking about the “greatest” or “favorite” or “worst” or “top 5 (in whatever)” or “ugliest” (this one’s a private list), etc. It’s fun. Try it some time!

today I want to present to you what I believe is the greatest challenge known to man. i don’t care if you agree right away but think about it and i think you’ll agree with me:

SELF-DENIAL (aka “dying to self”)

without self-denial you got SELF.  which means you got (among other things) self-consciousness, selfishness, and heaping helpings of self-consumption.  if you’re HUMAN, you deal with something SELF-related on a daily basis.  Ever hear the term, “I’mma get mine, son!”?  Yeah, that’s the type of attitude we all carry.  It’s also known as entitlement sometimes.

it is hands-down the greatest challenge in the world to FORGET about ourselves– not in a “I forgot who I am because I have amnesia” type of way but in a “I think of others first” kind of way and a “I put my own needs on hold…indefinitely” way.

don’t get me wrong.  some of us are engaged in work and projects that require tons of self-denial or at the very least, we all have heroic moments of admirable self-denial but man, it’s tough because our default setting is dialed to “SELF”. that’s just the way we were are.  sucks.

however, this post is not a poke at our collective conscience or a way of anyone offering tips on how to be great deniers of self.

rather, let’s just imagine what it would be like to forget about ourselves, shall we?  (not an extensive nor exhaustive list):

1.  I think we’d be much more generous.  In fact, NO ONE would be poor.  Think about that.

2.  Wouldn’t we be quicker to let go of wrongs done to us?  Violence, divorce, and overall crime rates would go down drastically.  Don’t you think?

3.  Loving others may not be so hard.

4.  We would initiate acts of kindness rather than always sitting and hoping good things happen to us.

5.  The world would change… drastically.

It is possible. I know of a few real-life examples of people who lived this way.  I’m sure you do to.

any additional thoughts?


2 responses

  1. Russ

    I would have to agree. To me, entitlement is the greatest ill – which is very very close to self-denial – if not the same. It is the greatest social ill and spiritual ill. BTW, enjoyed our time last week. I’ll email you soon regarding a date for our families. Peace, my brother.

    April 21, 2010 at 2:52 pm

  2. Wow! Great post. Somewhere in this truth is a million songs waiting to be written. I hope to write ONE as well communicated as this post. Keep it up. Thanks for the insight.

    April 21, 2010 at 11:31 pm

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