A few centuries after the science community rejected the geocentric model, which claimed that the earth was the center of the universe; the marketing and advertising strategists got to work and discovered a new model where the center of the universe was none other than the very person reading this blog post. We have evolved from geocentric to egocentric. “Express you.” “Grow Rich.” “Because you’re worth it.” “Have it your way.” You are bombarded daily by evident and sometimes subliminal ads with one objective: to persuade you. Not only is the human heart prone to a self-seeking nature but also our culture seems to reinforce and promote this message.
You can find advertisements on television, social media, websites, billboards, bus stops, benches, magazines, etc. The list is endless. Humans socially engaged in the world are flooded regularly with hundreds of advertisements that one-way or another alters the perception of their reality. We allow the influences of the global advertising culture to determine what is beautiful, cool, or trending. In this way we are also allowing them to infiltrate and dictate our way of thinking and similarly our way of living.
Even the advertisements that urge us to commit a good deed have our best interest at heart. “Your amazing opportunity to change a child’s life.” “You can help build a better world for children.” “Your gift at any amount will help find cures.” When did giving become a selfish act? The moment the focus of the contribution is not the receiver or even the act of giving itself, but instead focused on the giver. Superficially you might think that you are giving to help others, however there might be underlying motives sprouting from the seeds of selfish desires to feel a certain satisfaction from carrying out a benevolent act. Giving with the wrong intention in your heart can also be a product of this egotistical mentality that is becoming an imperceptible symptom.
Rare and few are the truly selfless. Thinking of yourself above all else is becoming more acceptable day by day and can even be seen as the norm. I believe that nothing good can come of a world where everyone is fixated on his or her self. A self-absorbed global community can only result in war, hate, greed, poverty, and many other manifestations driven by selfish acts.
In a Christian worldview when humans become lovers of self, they open the door to love for money, they become prideful, filled with conceit, and have a continuous dissatisfaction with their current state of life causing them to always want more than what they already have. The human heart can never be satisfied with the items or ideals of this world. It can only be satisfied by the One who created it, and not with mere objects or luxuries. Yet with so many contenders for our attention and affiliation, it is no wonder that as humans we tend to feel overwhelmed and wind up lost without purpose, far off from God’s intention for our lives.
In the preoccupation of oneself we seem to lose ourselves amidst the popular culture. Furthermore we begin to lose our devotion to God, our families, and our brethren. God created all individuals to be relational beings. Therefore the antidote to this selfish behavior is love. Love is selfless; it does not seek its own benefit. Christians are called to first love God above all else. In this way we may be filled with God’s love that it may abound in us and overflow to those that surround us so that we may love our neighbors as ourselves.
We can choose to do everything in love or the exact opposite. As humans we must analyze our behavior. Am I living life for greed or love? What are the underlying motives for my actions? If we are to seek a better life in this world we must not be guided by our selfish desires but overcome these with the selfless love found in God.