Bob Tamasy: It's 'All About Me!' - Or Is It?

Thursday, July 24, 2014 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

The other day I saw a news report declaring 2014, “The Year of the ‘Selfie’” – the fascination so many people have developed for taking photos of themselves in different settings with their smartphones.

Sure, it’s fun to go to a nice place on vacation and take a “selfie” in front of some well-known sight, but people these days are going to extraordinary lengths to put themselves into the picture. At the Tour de France, for instance, spectators jogged just ahead of the competing bikers, arms extended and smartphones angled strategically to prove to all the world, “That’s me. I was there!”  

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn about someone taking a “selfie” in Pamplona, Spain while racing to stay a step or two ahead of the charging bulls.

You don’t even need to be holding the cell phone. People “photo-bomb” by popping into the mix when photographs are being taken of others, at events ranging from weddings (“See, that’s me with the bride and groom”) to awards ceremonies (“Can you believe that’s me there with DiCaprio?”)  

Years ago we heard a lot about the “Me Generation.” We’ve become so me-conscious we don’t even need to use that phrase anymore. It’s assumed. And thanks to the wonders of technology and portability of smartphones, we have ever-improving ways for declaring to the world, “it’s all about me!”

“Me, me, me” is being repeated so often it sounds like the vocal warm-up session preceding an opera or vocal concert. 

I’m not stumping for all-out altruism or iron-clad vows of self-denial. No need to get extreme. Not that there’s any real danger of an epidemic of selflessness, anyway. But wouldn’t it be nice to see more people demonstrating more awareness of persons other than “me, myself and I”?

Reading the Bible, it seems evident God isn’t a “selfie” fan. “Unselfish” is the word He’d rather His people emulate. As it states in Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  

Maybe one reason Jesus Christ came during the time in human history that He did, rather than in the 21st century, is He didn’t want people flocking to take “selfies with Jesus” and then post them on social media. Quite to the contrary, He instructed His followers, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

But this isn’t easy, especially in a society that in one way or another constantly insists we must “look out for No. 1.” So how do we overcome this tendency? Is there an antidote for all this “me-ism”?  Let me offer a few suggestions: 

• Perform an act of kindness – or more than one – for people that can’t possibly repay you. That way you don’t have to examine yourself as much for ulterior motives.

• Find a local organization or project you believe in and volunteer your time and talents to help advance its mission and help those that will benefit. How about tutoring, mentoring, or working in a soup kitchen? 

• Contribute to a charity or non-profit that provides services to meet urgent needs. And if you’re already contributing, give more – or find additional causes to support.  

• Do something special for a neighbor, even if you don’t know them well. And try to do it anonymously so you won’t be doing it to gain an expression of gratitude or receive a similar gesture in return. 

If you do any, or all, of these you might discover Jesus was right when He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). And you’ll begin to understand why.

* * * 
Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Three Night Revival Meetings To Be Held At Hawkinsville Missionary Baptist

Pastor Bobby L. Hampton, Sr and Hawkinsville Missionary Baptist Church present "Revival Chattanooga", a three-night revival, Tuesday-Thursday, Sept. 22-24 at 7 p.m. nightly.  The preacher for all 3 nights is Pastor Gary L. Battles, senior pastor of Hurricane Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. Worship Guests; Tuesday, Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist Church; Wednesday, Hawkinsville's ... (click for more)

St. Timothy's Supper Club Meets Sept. 26

St. Timothy's Supper Club meets Friday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m.at the home of Bill and Bess Steverson, on Signal Mountain. Please bring a dish to share and a beverage of your choice. For more information, please call Janet Fisher at 886-5221. Children’s choirs are underway and additional children are welcome to join.  Choristers (ages 8-12) ... (click for more)

City Receives $400,000 Federal Grant To Study Passenger Train Service

The United States Department of Transportation has announced Chattanooga has received a $400,000 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to study the potential use of existing railways for a passenger rail system in Chattanooga. There were 72 awards announced in 46 states and Washington, D.C. Out of numerous grant applications across Tennessee, ... (click for more)

Former Assistant Police Chief Eidson Not Charged In Shooting Of Stepson On Englewood Avenue

Former Chattanooga Police Department Assistant Chief Kirk Eidson was not charged in the shooting of stepson Robert Ingle, 18, on Sunday morning in North Chattanooga. However, Ingle was charged with domestic assault and vandalism. In the incident shortly after 9 a.m. at 1049 Englewood Ave., Mr. Eidson said Ingle came to the house asking him to take him to their other house ... (click for more)

Dirt Decision At Camp Jordan May Come Back To Haunt East Ridge Councilmen

Wow. I thought the arrival of Bass Pro Shop would help bring East Ridge back to a position of prominence in the Chattanooga area, but the Council proved otherwise last night.  To the council - There is a reason that the developers want that dirt: It's valuable . You currently own it and the developer wants it. Bass Pro has already agreed to set up shop. They were going ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye To My Scooter

The month of August turned out to be unkind, with my dog, my favorite aunt and my magnificent mother all dying within three weeks’ time. As I finally begin to push out the three newest dents in my soul, my habit has been to write something akin to a goodbye note to those I have loved. I’m not ready for Aunt Martha and Mother yet – not by a stretch -- but I remembered Scooter with ... (click for more)