Today I would like to talk about having no self control and no limits.
(Heads-up: I don’t usually write posts this long, but this one just kept growing!)
This is reality of most people in our modern society, but it has happened so slowly that most people don’t even realize it. People have no self control and no limits and, although that sounds a lot like freedom, it is really misery.
Why? Well, here is at least part of it…..
There is too much noise in our would today, and it drowns out all the important things we need to learn to be happy and instead elevates the worst things in this world.
Just think about how much media/water cooler attention is given to a school shooter or serial killer. Or Youtube videos/television shows where people are acting badly.
Now, think about how much media time is given to stories or people helping other people. Or people doing good deeds for mankind.
It’s all about ratings. And money. Which translates to greed. But I digress…..
But just think about it: We can now buy almost anything imaginable 24 hours a day online (no waiting ever). Most brick and mortar stores are now open on Sundays (no waiting till Monday).
Not only can we shop all the time, but we can also:
- Spend all we want via credit cards
- Eat all we want from 24 hour restaurants
- Download unlimited books online and never have to wait for the library to open
- Download unlimited music and never have to walk into a music store again
- See unlimited amounts of advertisements that trick us into “needing” whatever they are selling
- Change careers a gazillion times because it’s so easy to get student loans
- Have as many partners/relationships as we want because no value is placed on loyalty or stability
- Get married/divorced as many times as we want because there are no consequences
- Try to be an expert at EVERYTHING so people will think we are impressive and cool
- Have a greedy, self-interested attitude and be popular for it
- Have so many choices for EVERYTHING that our heads explode!
Nothing in the above list supports setting limits in any way. In American society especially, individuals are encouraged to do whatever feels good or makes them happy, with little or no concern with the impact on those around them or society as a whole.
Hence, we have Jerry Springer type shows and people who complain about having to step over homeless people to get to their six figure jobs.
Is it just me, or is our current mode of operation NOT WORKING?
It seems like we are inundated with limitless amounts of everyone else’s problems on a daily basis because we are all so “connected” by social media and and the greater media in general. However, this is a very superficial sort of connected-ness.
I would like to offer an alternaitve way to live. I know many people are already promoting the idea of leaving social media and unplugging the devices, which is obviously the first step. But I would like to offer a few other suggestions:
1. It’s okay to have some secrets.
You don’t have to tell EVERYONE EVERYTHING that happens in your life. I truly believe the first step to gaining some self control would be to stop believing you have to tell the world all of your personal business and air every bad thing that has ever happened to you.
In this post Phil Donahue and Oprah Whinfrey world we now know that telling the country every personal secret you have will not solve your problems. If it did, antidepressants would be a thing of the past by now.
2. Consider how your actions will impact others.
This does not mean you should give away all of your money and live a deprived life. It does mean think about how your decisions today might affect your children tomorrow. Or the world.
Some people seem to think that as long as they do some recycling they can basically do anything else they want with their lives. Family responsibilities seem to be a thing of the past in many communities.
For example, the number of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren is staggering. Occasionally, this is due to parents passing away or being ill. I’m sure there are other legitimate reasons as well.
However, when parents consciously leave their children to be raised by grandparents because they simply do not want to do that, there is only one word for that: SHAMEFUL. There was a time when there was lots of stigma attached to not taking care of your family responsibilities. Apparently, those times are gone. I propose we bring those times back.
On a simpler not, If you have a loved one in need, go see them. Call them on the phone. Don’t just send a text or like their latest post on Facebook. Show them you care enough to give them some of your valuable time. Nothing shows love and caring more.
The same goes for your children. Give them your time more than your money. Memories mean more than stuff. Always.
3. Keep your opinion to yourself.
We have become the most opinionated bunch of people on the planet.
Everyone on Facebook and Twitter gives their opinion about everything everyone does. I can’t even imagine being a celebrity these days. I remember when a star recently posted about her young daughter trying a certain food for the first time and many people shamed her for feeding her child that particular food.
What was meant to be the sharing of a sweet family moment with her fans was turned into a shaming session instead. Seriously? Stop the negativity.
When I was young we were often told to “hold your tongue” or “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”. This is some of the best free advice you will ever hear.
4. Concentrate on ways to help others.
The people on this planet have had a monumental shift in how they view helping others. I truly believe that the United States is the worst offender. Yes, there are still people who frequently help others in this country, but the overall feeling of community and helping those in needs for the sake of helping has greatly diminished.
Our world is about ME, ME, ME!
You know the saying, “Whoever dies with the most toys wins”? That seems to be the American motto more and more these days. Hence, the shrinking of the middle class. The super rich are controlling the way money moves, both in and out of our country. This has forced many to either become savvy and join the super rich, or fall behind and become part of the growing poor population.
Greed has never been attractive on anyone. I don’t care what the situation.
Celebrate kindness in your circle and your world.
5. Give yourself some quiet time.
This is crucial in our modern world. Give yourself quiet time each and every day. If you are not into mediation, then turn the music off in your car while driving to work. Or have lunch by yourself in your office with all electronics off and a table top water fountain running.
Any way you can find to shut off the noise is effective at clearing your mind and allowing you to be more peaceful.
Your brain needs to rest, just like your body.
6. Guard your time and thoughts.
Examine your principles and morals. Don’t let everything you stand for be swept away by all the noise in the world. Many people’s principles and morals have changed with the times.
If these are so wishy-washy that they change with the times, then I don’t believe them to be true principles and morals. They shouldn’t be like manners, which do change with society. (Although I could also make an argument for bringing some of those back, too!)
Also, be aware of your thoughts and make sure you are not absorbing any of the “me, me, me” thoughts that are out there. In fact, feel free to imagine how you look to those around you and decide if you like the image you present to others.
And if you really want to be truly avant-garde and stand out in a crowd, then bring back things like caring, honesty, integrity, and honor.
7. Find ways to set limits and teach self control to your children.
Things are already out of hand with this generation, so let’s find ways to reel things back in. Teach your children that it’s okay to guard their time and thoughts, just like an adult. Habits are best formed when we are young, after all.
If you will put all the above into practice with your children, then they are almost guaranteed to have a happier experience than most other kids today.
Get back into nature and find ways to enjoy the world away from all the noise. One day your children will thank you for it.