Me, Me, Me!

By Anthony Gold

There are 1,013,913 words in the English language.  New words are added at a rate of approximately 15 words per day.  The millionth word added to the language happened to be “Web 2.0”.  And of those million plus words, what do you think is the most frequently used?

Aside from the definitive and indefinite articles ‘the’ and ‘a’ as well as the conjunctive ‘and’ and similar such words – the most popular word is … ‘I’.

Does that surprise you?

When you see a group photograph that you are in, whose face do you look for first?

We are conditioned to be in the focus.  Every one of us wakes up each day at center stage as the main character in a plot whose primary setting is our life.  We seek pleasure while attempting to avoid pain, all the while progressing along toward some ultimate climax of which we are not entirely certain.

‘I’ is the hero.  We can barely speak a word without uttering its name.  “I am …”  “I think …” And on and on it goes.  Everything seems to happen to “me”.  My life, my family, my friends, my job, my dreams, my fears.  Me, Me, Me!

Every decision we make is often primarily based on how it would or could impact “me” or people “I” care about.  And thus is the realm within which our hero experiences serial adventures, from the time of birth to dying.

But is there another plot line in which the focus shifts from the gratingly shrieking, egocentric “me” to the blissfully peaceful, inclusive “we”?

The answer is yes – we need but listen.

The still, small Voice for God is not drowned out by all the ego’s raucous screams and senseless ravings to those who want to hear It. (T-21.V.1)

Sink deep into the peace that waits for you beyond the frantic, riotous thoughts and sights and sounds of [the ego]. (W-pI.49.4)

From such a place the world is spectacularly transformed.  The me-centeredness perception gives way to an incredibly delightful serenity that extends outward embracing everyone.  Every interaction shifts from a perspective of separate interests to one of shared purpose.  The experience and feeling is amazing.

But we must overcome the ingrained habits of the ego which continually attempt – often not so subtlety – to pull us back to my needs and my interests.

Thus it should come as no surprise that the most recent word added to the English language, and one just named as Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year for 2013 is … ‘selfie’.  And what is the definition of ‘selfie’?  A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically uploaded to a social media website.

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