I have had multiple long conversations with my children about how fear can make you selfish and why it can be a problem.
Some of those talks intersected with discussions about why sometimes it is important to be selfish and how to identify those moments.
I suppose you could also say it is tied into the discussions we have had in which I encourage the kids to be judgmental.
Very few things in life can be classified in black and white terms so it is critical to me to teach my children to live thoughtful lives where they recognize sometimes you need to pick apart what is happening around you so you can pick the appropriate path to follow.
Sometimes It Is Smart To Be Selfish
People use selfish as a pejorative term without thinking about the moments where you need to be selfish about your time and how you use it.
They don’t consider situations that arise where a selfish act doesn’t necessarily result in someone else being harmed by your actions.
Sometimes it is the smart move to look out for yourself first because you have reached a place where you can no longer function well or close to it.
But I am not here to try to convince you, me or anyone else about this.
Today I am thinking about how fear has made people I know act in selfish manners that wreaked havoc upon others.
I am thinking about how that has impacted my life and making a pledge to myself to try to avoid it happening again.
When Fear Makes You Selfish
In concept I should include examples for my readers that enable you to better relate and follow along but I am not going to do that this time.
There are boundaries in blogging and sometimes you maintain those lines because you don’t want to deal with the consequences of what could happen if your words were read by the wrong people.
Those of you who know me well will recognize it is not easy for me to hold back because I am naturally unfiltered and unafraid to tell you what I really think.
But unfiltered doesn’t mean I am stupid, thoughtless and or reckless.
Ok, I have been/done things that would enable me to be described as having been stupid, thoughtless and reckless but a mature person tries to avoid making the same mistake twice.
So why am I writing this?
Because the blog isn’t just a chronicle of tales told about parenting, life, writing and fiction.
It is also a place where I figure out how I feel about some things. It is a place where the words on the page help bring clarity to my world.
And maybe one day it will help my children gain a deeper understanding of who their father is/was.
Today I am writing to remind myself of how I am tired of fear leading to selfish actions that require me to carry additional burdens.
It is unnecessary, intolerable and something that I will fight tooth and nail.
The Life We Lead Vs The Life We Want
That last post Some Jobs Make You A Bad Parent is something I see as a perfect example of the life we lead.
I took the position because I had to and not because I wanted to. Took it and consistently wrote about it with the hope that the words would dull the edge and help me gain a better attitude.
Took it saying it would be a short-term bridge to help me transition from the life I lead to the one I want to live.
It is fair to say some of the rougher edges have received a bit of polish but not enough for me to see it as anything but the bridge.
I won’t wear a sweater because someone else is cold and I won’t commit to doing that which hurts my heart for the long term.
Nor will I allow another person’s fear to dictate all of what I do or how I respond to certain situations.
You can say my response to their fear is fear of capitulating to it so I choose to be selfish because the time has come to look out for me.
I survived the storm that Murakami writes about and I am not the same person anymore. I am still getting to know the new guy, but I like him.
He/I aren’t willing to let fear prevent us from taking chances to live the life we want to lead. Settling time is done.