Today I’m going to cover the concept of considering others before yourself. For something that sounds so simple to say, it can be one of the hardest practices to master in life. It’s also my second topic in my survival series where I cover the core principles that your child needs to master before leaving your home.
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It may seem counterintuitive, but considering others before yourself may be the best survival strategy there is and something important to instill in your children.
Think back to when you were younger. We all have experiences of being too afraid to stand up for kids being bullied. Sometimes we’re not mean, but we wouldn’t put ourselves out there for people we can’t gain from. Talking with your kids about it in the first person, based on examples from your own life, makes it very relatable.
We naturally put a lot of effort into self preservation.
We associate based on perceived status. If someone has money, looks, connections, and we think associating with them is going to get us ahead, we tend to overlook major character issues in their life and major warning signs. We want to associate ourselves with them whether they are of quality character or not.
We distance ourselves from potential threats – not just people who will directly hurt or harm us, but also people who by association will get us laughed at or made fun of. They may be good people, but we will not come to their defense publicly.
We make the mistake of self-promotion instead of genuine self-sacrifice. In our social media obsessed world, we tend to post our good deeds online. Will you still do good deeds even if no one knows about them?
If it’s just a matter of evolution, survival of the fittest, this would work. However, our faith in the teachings of Jesus commands us to do the opposite – to not self-preserve, but to look out for those around us, to count out others more significant than ourselves. Life others up, humble yourself, because God will lift you up.
If your faith is true:
Be united in your outlook.
Be others-first in your actions.
Be Christian in your attitudes. Model how Jesus put others before him.
Teach your kids to think about what they are doing and how it affects others. In your own house, leaving dishes in the sink, leaving toys out, leaving your chores undone are examples of not considering others. It’s not just laziness, but selfishness, but not thinking of the other person. Point your children towards Christ. One of the ways you show that you belong to Jesus is by being considerate and thinking of others more than yourself.
Character is revealed not by what we do when everybody’s looking, not by what we do when there’s rewards, not by what we do when we’re going to advance because of it, but by what you do to the people from whom you have nothing to gain.
It’s a simple concept, but one that is so powerful that it will transform your life and the life of your children. Giving your life away is the greatest survival strategy that you could possibly have.
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