Saturday, 20 October 2018

In age of the selfie, act more selflessly

TAKING a quick fun photo of oneself, then posting it on social media sites is now

TAKING a quick fun photo of oneself, then posting it on social media sites is now a global obsession.

As a form of self- expression, it is highly entertaining for friends and family. At parties, weddings, rock festivals, tourist sites and on holidays, the selfie is ubiquitous, recording special times to share with others. You can even buy extending “selfie sticks”, enabling you to take the photos more easily in crowds.

But the self-centred, selfie culture has its risks. When photos are displayed, it can change from capturing a light-hearted moment to harming our sense of self- value because it relies entirely on numbers of “likes”, “followers” and other responses on social media. Some of these comments, as we know from reports in the press, can be critical or deliberately hurtful.

Naturally we all take account of what others think of us — that’s part of living in any community.

However, the craze for selfies tends to rely on superficial factors, such as attractiveness or popularity. Then comparing ourselves with others can lead to feelings of inadequacy rather than the successful centre of attention. Promoting our own self-interest is innate to human beings. We think being self-centred, even selfish, is essential to survive and compete in our highly complex world.

But Jesus taught us the precisely opposite belief: we should instead act selflessly, and with humility, by truly loving our neighbour as ourselves, placing others’ concerns before our own.

The Good Samaritan, who put aside his own pressing commitments to rescue a wounded foreigner, illustrates how love in action is truly selfless.

Such selflessness is deeply challenging — is it too difficult to disregard our personal wishes, aims and ambitions? Can we forget hurt feelings or wounded pride? Can we forgive and pray for those who have harmed us?

Christians believe that through trying to put aside our self-centredness, however hard that may be, we may come closer to God.

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