This afternoon while skimming through Facebook, I ran across a link that directed me to a blog post which was written by a talented young lady, Kristin. She just happens to be the younger sister of my beautiful Daughter-in-Law. Kristin is traveling and studying overseas in Spain. She’s enrolled in one of those student/class exchange programs from the college she attends. You know, those amazing programs where you get to travel the world while taking classes at an institution that is affiliated with the college that you are attending. And, she takes full advantage of traveling the world on her weekends while living temporarily abroad.
When I was her age and in college, these programs were not as popular nor taken advantage of nearly as much as they are today. Things have changed. The world seems to have become smaller. Or, perhaps it’s just that the young adults of today’s world have more opportunities laid at their feet and are far more likely to follow through will well thought out plans because of their fierce independence and higher education.
I like this. I have adapted to the way the world has changed since I was a twenty-something. I encourage my kids (all twenty-somethings) to travel. It not only opens your eyes to new experiences and different cultures, but it also opens your world to new possibilities.
After reading through some of Kristin’s posts, especially the one that I am introducing to you here, I am more convinced than ever that through the experience of travel & education, young adults grow and mature in ways that benefit not only themselves but also society. The beauty of all of this is that you don’t have to travel across the ocean to experience the blessings of travel. Your world could be opened up simply going ten miles from where you live, crossing a state line – or traveling to the village closest to you.
Selfies with Camels
I am writing this after 20 minutes checking myself out on social media. See this past weekend I went to Morocco and got amazing pictures so I naturallyyyy posted one to Instagram right away (go give me a like if you get the chance;)). BUT WAIT- that was just an addition to the ones I was tagged in on Facebook. There was also the new profile pic I updated of my bestie and myself last week- that’s when this continuous clicking happened and the self-stalking binge started. These twenty minutes consisted of checking who liked what, guessing how people perceived the pics, and even assessing myself for many reasons but mostly to see how I came across and what people might think of me.
…………………LIKE WHAT??? I reread this sadly true paragraph and can’t help but feel shame for how narcissistic and self-centered the last 20 minutes of my life were. Twenty minutes of my life I will never get back. Twenty minutes of my life that could have been spent doing something way more productive or meaningful or touching. From conversations with friends and observations around me I can bet that MANY other people have been in this same situation.
We take selfies, have personal agendas, and feel an overwhelming need not only to talk about ourselves but also somehow bring us into any aspect of conversation. The selfie stick, deemed “the wand of narcissism,” has become so popular that museums across the country (for example the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the MFA in Houston) have banned its presence.
While listening to a sermon about spiritual maturity, a point that was made really stood out to me- “We are all born narcissists and learning to grow out of that is at the heart of our spirituality.” What exactly does this mean? Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that everyone needs their own personal time and space- it’s vital to one’s sanity and something I am a strong advocate for. But when 20 minutes of my day consists of looking at myself on social media, something’s wrong.
Confidence is cool and self-love is a must. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with loving yourself- everyone should! When we love ourselves we can notice the God given gifts we have. However when we use this realization for self-promotion, narcissism and self-centeredness take over.
When we learn to grow out of our narcissism, our spirituality can flourish. When we lose that blinding interest in ourselves, we start make room for an interest in others.This also happens when we liberate ourselves from our selfishness sometimes even just by becoming aware of it. There’s a quote I love that says, “Love is to reveal the beauty of someone to himself or herself.” When we stop obsessing over our own beauty and vanity, we have room to love and appreciate others. This promotes change and in comes Buddha:
Realizing these self-obsessing habits is the first step for a narcissist. It’s something I struggle with and am trying to work on day by day. So next time I find myself beginning a self stalking binge on social media I’ll click my home page and go give some likes or a genuine comment. It’s all about baby steps…
In the meantime, here are some pictures of Morocco, including a selfie with a camel:
reblogged from JOY by KristenBuehler11