All About Me

I had a sad thought. I probably think about myself more than anyone else. I don’t mean I think about myself more than anyone else thinks about themselves. That’s not the sad thought. I mean, there probably isn’t anyone else that thinks about me more than I think about me. That’s a sad thought—for me, at least. My life would be really great if more people thought about me. The problem is, everyone else is too busy thinking about themselves.

I had another thought. This one wasn’t so sad. Instead of thinking of me all the time, I probably know at least 1500 people, personally, by name, that I could think about. If I thought about all the people I know (at least 1500), that’s a lot more people getting thought about. That’s a problem I see with only thinking about me. I’m just one person. When I’m thinking about me, only one person is getting considered.

If everyone only thought about themselves in the world, that would be 7.3 billion thoughts, right? But if everyone thought about everyone they knew, that would be…a lot of thoughts. And if they were good thoughts, not ideas about how to harm or take from each other, but ways to help and serve, that’d be amazing.

I know this sounds kind of Dr. Suess-ish so far. That was the point. All that was a long way to get to the simple idea that there is multiplied power in thinking of others. Jesus was tapping into something powerful when he talked about not coming to be served, but to serve others (Mark 10:45). It’s pretty limiting when everyone is only concerned with serving themselves.

Imagine the difference in a family between each member thinking only about themselves and each member think about all the other members. For our family that’s a difference of just five thoughts compared to thirty thoughts. That’s the power of thinking of others. Imagine the difference in a church. Imagine the difference in a city.

I heard Horst Schulze speak last week and have been going through the book about the service philosophy of the hotels he ran, The Ritz-Carlton. The culture of service that has been established in that company is legendary. Their credo is the care and comfort of “the ladies and gentlemen” they serve is their highest mission. They train their employees and create elaborate systems to live that mission out.

I stayed in a Ritz-Carlton a couple of years ago. Jamie won a gift card at a fund-raising event at our girls’ school. (I was bit by a dog coming out of the elevator, but that’s another story). The service and attention to detail is unparalleled. You truly get the feeling that everyone is thinking about you. The whole experience is other-worldly.

Thinking about the way you felt the last time you received great service at a restaurant or a repair man reminds you of the power in knowing a person was thinking about how to best serve you. The relevancy of Jesus’ example of serving others is so conspicuous in a brazenly narcissistic world. Can you imagine how atmosphere could change in the places we work and live from the power of thinking of others?

Title Signature Screenshot Cartoon 2015