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I Wanna Talk About Me

"I wanna talk about me" — that's what Toby Keith said in his hit country song a few years ago. He began by reminding his girlfriend of all the stuff they talk about — a long list that includes "how your boss is a jerk, your church, and your head when it hurts . . . .the troubles you've been having with your brother, your daddy and your mother, and your crazy ex-lover . . . your friends, and the places that you've been . . . your skin, and the dimples in your chin, the polish on your toes and the run in your hose. . . and your clothes." The first verse ends, "You know talking about you makes me smile, but every once in a while" – and then comes the chorus which gets to the topic he is really itching to talk about: "I wanna. talk about me, Wanna talk about I, Wanna talk about Number One, Oh my, me, my. What I think, what I like, what I know, what I want, what I see. I like talking about you you you, usually, but occasionally, I wanna talk about me!" These days evidence abounds on youtube, facebook, in songs, in movies, on blogs, in texts and emails and tweets, in interviews and on TV— the favorite topic of conversation for millions of people is "me me me!" What many want to talk about most of all is "I, I, I" – what I think, what I like, what I know, what I want, what I'm doing, where I'm going, who I'm seeing, what I'm knowing, what I'm reading, what I'm eating, what I'm wearing, what I did last night or last week or last year or just a few seconds ago. The verdict is in that many of us are enormously self-obsessed and self-absorbed — with hair and skin, eyes and thighs, hips and lips, chests and breasts, toes and nose, cars and clothes, pleasure and treasure. In 2002, Robert B. Millman, a Cornell med school professor and adviser to Major League Baseball, described "celebrity big head" – the way ordinary people often begin to behave after they achieve extraordinary success like receiving an Oscar or being named Rookie of the Year. The fame frequently swells their heads, and Millman noted that a double-dose of adulation from us (the run-of-the-mill, not-too-famous, still-ordinary millions making up the general public) often loosens celebrities' grip on reality. He pointed to tantrums, affairs, and addictions of very talented, rich, and popular people as proof that they "become unbelievably self-involved." By that measure Millman indicts many of us who are less famous (except perhaps in our own minds). Can anyone deny he is correct when he says, "Many of us would choose to acquire this dysfunction if it came with the attendant success" Cu); 4/02,p 19)? The naked truth is that with or without fame, it is easy to be abnormally and unhealthily self–absorbed. Brings to mind the question, "How many egotists does it take to screw in a light bulb?" Answer: "One. The egomaniac holds the light bulb and the rest of the world revolves around him."

The problem with selfishness is that it is like a dirty face – always easier to see on another person. A focus on Christ helps us see and solve our own selfishness. First Corinthians 10:24 is characteristic of the Bible's call for us to swim against the powerful current of self—centeredness now washing over our world —"Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being." It is God's wisdom and way that in seeking others' well-being we will find our own. Now, let's see — I wanna talk about. . . .you!  WHAT GOOD DOES IT DO?  Major League Baseball just completed its annual All-Star game in Kansas City, Mo this past Tuesday night. Some of the best players in the game were assembled on the field. There have been many great players who have participated in this annual event. If I were to take a poll on who was the best player at each position we would argue who that would be. But if we were to argue who was the fastest pitcher who ever lived, there's only one name that comes to mind.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ