“Me firmly believes that the world could be what it is supposed to be if only everyone else would stop messing it up. Life could be good if everyone would do things the way they should be done. If only everyone would live the life the way it should be done. If only everyone would live life the way it should be lived. If only everyone were a bit more like Me. If only Me was in charge.” A powerful quote from Jonathan Fisk’s book, Echo.
Granted the quote is taken out of context as Echo is written for Jesus followers to remind believers Christianity is the death of Me. Yet isn’t self-centeredness a universal problem for all of us.
Could it not be argued that many conflicts and human tragedies can be put at the throne of the all important Me and who cares about the rest?
We see it when citizens say, “I wouldn’t mind paying taxes if it weren’t spent so wastefully”, which is simply saying “government spending priorities should be My priorities.”
Edmonton Oiler fans can rationalize giving a multi-billionaire public money for a hockey arena, yet the same people often have a conniption fit when tax dollars are used to subsidize the not-for-profit symphony orchestra or art gallery. Both have validity.
Seniors and others who spend up to six months each year away supporting the economy of another country avoid thinking of themselves as an economic drag on Canada.
Yet prolonged citizen absences directly hurt local businesses, communities, churches, volunteerism and extended families.
We see it in the extreme fringes of politics.
Those on the far left—the federal NDP and Greens—who naively argue that all oil sands development and extraction should stop immediately.
Those on the far right—UCP and Conservatives—who can’t see beyond hydrocarbons and cash starve entrepreneurs working on innovations in other energy sectors.
Both sides are stuck between Me and Me when the only rational, business option is Us finding the middle ground.
Governments that come to power and throw out every policy and piece of legislation passed by the previous government without even considering the good parts is another example of self-serving Me.
Premier Kenney, tossing out the ‘ready-to-go’ new curriculum developed by teachers under the Notley government, was an egregious example.
The curriculum update is so critical for our students and had made great strides forward in teaching math and language arts.
Yet because it continued to teach a science far-right political parties deny and acknowledged the LGBTQ community, it has to be re-written by the enlightened ‘Me’ who is not tainted by educational elites, i.e. teachers.
We have more and more leaders and citizens who accept ‘Me is god’, ‘Me is always right’ and ‘Me doesn’t want to share’.
Therein explains why institutions in democracies are crumbling. Democracy is defined as the rule of the majority with respect for the rights of minorities, an antithesis to Me.
Peace, order and good government happens when it’s less about Me and a lot more about Us! Civilizations rise when ‘Us is on the throne’ and decline and eventually end when ‘Me is god’.
The pendulum in First World countries has definitely swung dangerously to Me.