I was reminded recently about a conversation that took place between our youngest daughter and her father, when she was about three and a half.
Just to set the scene: the three and a half year old is being demanding (a common occurrence back then…and currently, come to think of it) and the father is becoming increasingly frustrated.
So it went something like this:
Frustrated Father: “It’s not all about you!”
Equally as frustrated Daughter: “I know.” And then quietly, exiting stage left. “But I wish it was.”
It still makes me chuckle outwardly, and cringe inwardly. Ah, how often do children just say it like it is?
Deep down, we all want it to be about us, don’t we? We just learn to not say it out loud, rather we set about finding ways to make it all about us, and hope no-one will notice what we are doing.
Most of us, if we are honest, harbour a secret, and for some not so secret, desire for everything to please us, entertain us, and be for our benefit or gain.
We try to teach our children that the world doesn’t revolve around them, that they need to share and that we should put others first.
I look around at us as a society and wonder if some of us have learnt that at all. Some people have carried the wish to have it all about them, well into adulthood. And it’s a notion reinforced by advertising where we are told to look out for Number One, to put ourselves first and to pursue our own happiness like it were the holy grail.
Is it any wonder we have trouble teaching our kids this philosophy when all around are examples of the very opposite?
It’s not all about me is a mantra we would all do well to say regularly throughout our day and in trying circumstances.
It’s also refreshingly grounding too.
If it’s not all about us, we can let go of the need to be perfect, to be all to everyone and to remember that if the focus is not specifically on us, we can relax a little.
If it’s not all about us, we can let those around us take responsibility for their side of the relationship, we don’t have to try and solve everyone’s problems and we can simply be us, minding our own business in our little corner of the world.
It’s not all about you. And that is a good thing.