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Self… Less

“A person totally wrapped up in himself makes a small package.” — Harry Emerson Fosdick

It’s human nature to see the world through our own lens, but that doesn’t make it productive or particularly informative. So how do we reconcile this with a blog published daily? At what point does it become a vanity play? The very act of producing daily is a statement of self (Look: I’m still here!”), but it shouldn’t ever be about the self.

When the writing becomes too self-absorbed, it become less interesting, as selfies make the worst photographs. A selfie may create an image for the photographer to remember the moment, but by nature the place the picture is being taken in is dominated by the person, screaming “Me!” for all who will listen. Writing in a self-absorbed way is simply journalling in disguise.

The tricky thing about living in a world that celebrates the individual so much is that it promotes so much individualism. Yet we are at our very best when we’re part of something bigger than ourselves. The self often gets in the way on our path to something more. Self… less is a better mission. It focuses the mind on bigger things, inherently beyond the limitations of the individual.

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” — Epictetus

Each day offers an opportunity to reach for the mirror or the telescope. Which will help us see beyond our present position? Yet we each have our verse to contribute. This daily practice of becoming ought to be documented. Does this create a contradiction? That depends on the underlying motivation of the writer. To contribute to the conversation is an act of generosity. To dominate the conversation is something less. The mission is clear: to draw from the self to contribute to something beyond it.

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