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a pregnant kissI had the pleasure of spending this past Sunday with some very good friends of mine awaiting the arrival of their first child.

Having seen a number of close friends starting to have kids it’s made me realise just how selfish I really am…and I like to think of myself as someone who tries to think more of others than of myself.  I try to be as generous as I can be, often to my own financial distress, I want to look out for those who are less fortunate than I am or indeed simply need someone to listen, support or encourage them…maybe with a little challenge along the way.  This isn’t to say that I’ve got the answers or indeed that I have it right and all sorted, I know, painfully, that this isn’t the case but it doesn’t stop me from striving for it.

“Marriage puts a mirror up against your own selfishness,” I recently heard someone say at a wedding, acknowledging that the coming together of two people for a lifelong commitment is not an easy road to travel.  Having been in a relationship for the past 7 months now, I already know what it is like for my own selfishness to rear its ugly head.

Thoughts along the lines of, “But I want to watch this film.”  “I’m tired and need to sleep.” “What do you mean I can’t do this or go there?”  Suddenly I sound like a petulant child of 14 rather than the *cough mature man of 28 that I like to portray. The trouble is I know that this level of self-confrontation will only increase as I become more and more involved and intertwined with relationship be that with marriage or indeed having kids.  The number of people who tell me “children change your life completely” and even one or two who love their children dearly and wouldn’t change things now for the world, suggest that had they known the changes and responsibilities that they were getting themselves into might have waited a little longer.

And so I am left with the question of just how much do I need to take a good long look in the mirror and humble myself again?  To realise that this world does not revolve around me and my ginger-self, but that I need to reassess my place and look out at this world with the eyes of a father.  A father who dearly loves his child and would do and give anything for him.  A father for whom selfishness is nothing and selflessness is EVERYTHING.

That’s a challenge…


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