To focus on others first is a refreshing and revolutionary idea
The mind is constantly playing the “what about me” mantra. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed we are trying to see that “me” gets the best of everything all the time. We want pleasure, fame, recognition, and everything that we do is geared to make “me” feel happy. But in the end this desire to feed “me” brings us more unhappiness than joy.
Is this relationship going to make me happy? Is this music going to make me happy? Is this new relationship is going to make me happy? Is this new spiritual practice going to make me fell happy? We are so fixated in having the “me” prevail; we even feel a certain pleasure when we hear others have failed. When we hear news of someone who made a lot of money or was successful at their job we feel jealous why wasn’t me? We hardly ever do something just to do it, like helping someone for the sake of just helping out.
When we are good to others there is usually a hidden motive. We do it because we want to be recognized as a good and important person. We do these good things so we can pick up our “certificates” of being good; the validation we acquire we have the illusion other people going to love us and again – it’s all about “me”. We clean our house when someone comes to visit but when there’s no one around is a big mess. Don’t we all know someone just like that? Yes, ourselves! Everyone is on the same boat, we are all humans. There is something funny about us being so alike.
The “me” song make us small because the universe it is not about our ego; it’s larger. In order to make space in our world we must put our heads out there and see that other people are just like ourselves. The world is interconnected, luminous and spacious and the vision of “me” usually prevents us from seeing things as they are. This limited view ultimately bring us suffering. It is like staying home watching some stupid TV show while there is a gorgeous fall day outside and people are playing in the sun but we are just trying to entertain ourselves and we miss all the action.
There is a kind of magnetism when we seek the well being of others. There is freshness and spaciousness in it. Is like we climb a high mountain where the air is fresh and clean. The mind is not occupied in providing for “me” and allow room for the magic to happen. How can we derive pressure from giving pleasure and joy to others? Is not like we going to make”me” happy by making others feel happy we have to be careful not to turn this into another ego seeking venture. We have to let go and just focus on the joy of being there for others. For nothing, just to do it for no particular reason. Soon it will catch up with you because everything eventually return to us through the connectedness of our universe. Don’t ask how it works but we all know it does work. Just like a boomerang.
Like climbing a high mountain we must start the journey slowly, step by step. Some people want to be nice immediately and they go from jerk to Mother Theresa in one day and all they accomplish is the knowledge that it doesn’t work that way and things fall apart very quickly. We should do only small things at first. Set up some goals like anything else. Try not to get mad when you are driving your car. The car is where most people give themselves license to be rude to others. Can you imagine if half the people who drive were practicing that? The traffic accident rate would probably drop dramatically.
Is a refreshing idea to focus on others for the first time. It’s a new thing and it feels refreshing because it is a new thing. Try it just for fun! You will surprise people when the habitual response doesn’t quite happens when you are nice to them when you should be angry. People also expect a reaction because it is like fireworks to see other people get mad. When there is no emotional fireworks you just take the energy out of it. It’s like practicing anything it becomes a habit and is contagious.
There is a great video on Youtube called “What about me”. But as I scrolled down on Youtube page, there was another video entitled “what about me” but in reference to a disease called Myalgic encephalomyelitis ME for short. The funny thing is that the symptoms of ME are depression, anger, general apathy for life among many other negative things which are the same effects we get when we are playing the “what about me song” just interesting how coincidences come about.
This post have been loosely quoted from the book “Ruling your world” from Sakyong Mipham However I’m also voicing my own true experience or practicing some of these ideas.
Image: 2008 ceramic showing from CCA students