Saturday, December 01, 2007

Me First

There is a prevalent problem in a society today that infects all the current generations. I do not know if it was due to the self-esteem philosophy of the 1980's or if it is the idea of individualism gone awry in society today. What am I talking about? It is the idea that the "I" is more important then the "we" or "us." How did we get this way? An even more important question is how can "we" return to prominence in society today? As you know the cliche goes, there is no "I" in team!

We have become a self-centered society where the goal of our life is to put ourselves on a pedestal and demand what we consider what is rightfully ours. I am not saying that individualism is bad, because without this concept, we would be drones in a tyrannic world. The creativity that each of us brings colors our lives and makes it fruitful. The problem I am zeroing in is setting the "I" ridiculously higher then the "we" and of society in general. We cannot compromise or have consensus-building debate which leads to a one party rule, the rule of one. "My way is right and yours is not." Maybe it is right, but it could also be wrong. Whatever the case, the end result is a no-win for anybody. "I" believe "I" deserve what "I" think "I" should have rather then to consciously and objectively debate on whether it is good for all of us. Hence, we have broken families with a divorce rate of 50%. We have petty arguments that could be solved if everyone involved gives up a little, compromise.

We believe so strongly that we have a right to convey our ideas that we care not how it affects others. Decisions made solely for the benefit of one which essentially destroys the meaning of community. I am not saying you should give up your faith or religion for all, but you should not force involuntarily your own ideas on others. I think this "me first" fallacy has so infected us to the core, I would not be surprised that our society is heading in a southerly direction. However, there are a few of us that have slowed down the degeneration such as Martin Luther King, Jr and others who have sacrificed their own personal self comfort for the greater good of others. I believe we can find within each of us the sense of communal friendship that can bring us back to sensibility again.

So what should we do? In terms of our friendships, we should be democratic and communal in our interaction with each other. We do not have to lead the discussion all the time and we should foster the opinions of others, no matter how absurd they may be currently. This exchange of ideas are what help foster innovation and create a foundation in society that is built on solid rock. For family unity, compromise is a key ingredient. Opinions matter, but sometimes we must make a trade-off for the good of the whole family. It is better to trade off then lose everything. No one wins in a case of broken families and society. We should build better lives for our community as well as ourselves.

Obviously, if we cannot help ourselves then helping society is useless. We must be on solid foundation on which to build society. We as individuals need to be headstrong in this mission for a more positive societal outcome. This "me first" disease has been a scourge for quite some time now, but we must forgo our petty insolences and work toward a better society, each bringing our own creative qualities to the round table. The "I" shall take a backseat as the "We" drives us to the promised land, to a better world.

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