Selfless September - Part One

Posted by Steven Russell on Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I’m going to take a month to explore something I’ll call “selflessness.” I’m not quite sure what that means. I mean, I still want to have a self. I don’t want to pretend that I’m not here. That’s not what I mean. But what I want to explore is the idea that I’m not the center of the universe. I like to think that things happen to me because people intentionally are doing things to make my life miserable. And not just New Jersey drivers, although that seems to be the place I encounter most of the above mentioned people. Dictionary.com defines “selfless” as: “having little or no concern for oneself, especially with regard to fame, position, money, etc.; unselfish.” I gave up on having fame in about 1989. Position? Wherever I am is a position, so that doesn’t count. Money isn’t something I ever thought I’d earn much of as a musician, and certainly not as a yoga teacher. So that leaves being unselfish. In general. In all actions.

During the month of September, I’m going to examine how I react to other people, and try to act in an unselfish way. When I drive I’m going to let people in. I will try to stop assuming that all other drivers are evil, and are out to drive in a way to intimidate me, insult me, and make me late for wherever I’m going. I will stop yelling out loud descriptions of the people driving in front of me who aren’t going as fast as I think they should. I’ll even try to stop thinking those descriptions. I’m going to be content in moving my car in a safe manner and see if I really do get to where I’m going on time. I’m going to try to live my life without thinking that everyone around me is judging me, or even paying attention to me. I’m going to assume that my encounters with others will be positive. I’m even going to look for other situations where I can be unselfish. At the end of the month I’ll see where I am and if my unselfish actions have had an impact on me in a good or not so good way.

Here’s to Selfless September. So far nothing’s much different. Yet.

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