Have you seen how most of the things around us exist to serve us and bring us immediate satisfaction? Technology is at our fingertips and we have become so dependent on it, whether you are a child or an adult. It is not until our wi-fi disconnects that we realize how much we are connected to our devices. Fast food restaurants are a favorite and online shopping are dominating over the brick and mortar type of shopping. These experiences satisfy our hunger and if it doesn’t, we have a sense of entitlement to claim what we deserve. Human nature is quick to react when things don’t go the way we want them to go and practicing self-denial during those times is the last thing we want to do.
It is great feeling to be in control, but life is at times unpredictable. Life gives us many lessons and if there is anything that I have learned from life, it is that I can actually choose how I react to circumstances. Perhaps my reaction will not change the situation, but it will certainly make a difference on the decisions I will be making. Making a choice already gives me control of my thoughts and actions. This is self-denial. Wanting to react a certain way, yet suppressing the feeling can teach me self-discipline, patience, and even understanding towards others. Technology and other services are there to serve us and we have been accustomed to this lifestyle that we often forget to deny ourselves and serve others. Every ad or commercial shown is to convince us of the satisfaction we will get when we obtain a product or service. It is all about meeting my needs. Sadly, the love for the human self has become greater than the love for humankind.
Whether you are a parent or a teacher, you have probably heard of the phrase “Sharing is caring.” In other words, self-denial has to take place in order to serve. Teaching this phrase to children is great, but have you explained to them why sharing is caring? Is it because we don’t want to look like terrible parents in front of others or is it because we truly desire to teach our children the beauty of serving others? Let’s not wait until children are older to show them what self-denial can teach us. I work with younger children and while some go off to play on their own, there are a couple who struggle to share certain toys with others. They begin to fight with each other about who “had it first” and therefore it is theirs to play with. Even if they took the toy away from someone, they are set to believe the object belongs to them. It becomes challenging to explain to them that not everything is theirs. I attempt to explain that sometimes you have to give up something even if it’s unfair because many times, life is not always fair. They look at me with a confused look, and sometimes the result is just a simple nod or many times, dissatisfaction expressed in crying.
Remember that to teach anything, you have to be the example. We struggle with self denial because we haven’t made it a habit. If it’s not part of our daily practice, then it becomes harder to teach the younger generation to make it part of their lives. Denying our selves to serve others is no easy task, but the end results do bring a better kind of satisfaction. We cannot expect life to be fair, but we can choose to be kind to others. We can choose to be more understanding of others. Though self-denial feels like its against our human nature, our actions of self-sacrifice will make the world a better place. Someday you and your children will bring a piece of heaven to someone who is searching for it. Let’s come together to raise a powerful and kind generation. Hello there! We would love to hear what you’re thinking. Share your thoughts by commenting below!
What are some ways you’re teaching your children about self-denial?
Is there someone in your life who has taught you the meaning of self-sacrifice?
Written By Teresa Alberto
Droolees Ed Team Blog Contributor