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Francis Schaeffer on the Origins of Relativism in the Church

One of My Favorite Songs

An Inspiring Song


Monday, July 6, 2009

One of the Best Lessons I Ever Taught

One of the best lessons I've ever taught ran thusly:
You know how much time you spend thinking about other people, what they wear, what they think, what they look like? How much time is that? I mean really thinking about it?

Ummmmm--not much. Hardly any.

Well, rest assured that they spend about the same amount of time thinking about what you're wearing, what you think, and what you look like. You are almost certainly quite incidental to their world.
I still find this to be true. Human beings are a pretty miserable lot, but for the most part, it's not terribly personal, that is, they may hate what you stand for, they may hate your politics, etc., but you, personally? They hardly ever think about you, unless you've done something personal to them or happen to be in their way or have something they want. This is not an absolute rule, of course, nor am I talking about your husband, your wife, your family, your close friends, etc., but then, that's why they're called "close" friends/relatives etc. But in general, with casual acquaintances, team members, co-workers, etc., I think I've described the situation pretty well. They just don't expend that much mental energy on you.

What's the application? There's more than one, but one thing's for sure: You can spend large chunks of your mental and emotional energy all wrapped up in He dissed me and She never listens to me and everybody must hate me and they're all out to get me, and it is a total waste. They are not all out to get you. They are barely aware you exist, except insofar as you have a direct impact on their lives, and even then, not for long. You are not the center of their universe. They are not spending their days, their hours, rarely even a second, trying to figure out ways to make you mad. You are not that important to them.

Or, if they really are out to get you, if they really have some kind of lasting, burning anger toward you, you can pretty much bet that you've done something to really torque them off. Maybe you ought to figure out what it is and determine whether or not you can avoid doing it again. Sometimes you can't, sometimes you can.

Take it for what it's worth. It's been working for me, for the most part, for years.

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