The Parish of Burchetts Green

The “Me” Generation

By Rev Keith


My life, my rights, my entitlement...

rampant individualism has character

ised Britain in recent decades. And I

don't think that it's co-incidence that

the selfish society, epitomised by

greedy bankers and footballers has,

during the same period, become

known as 'rip-off Britain, famous for

its compensation culture as everyone

tries to grab as much as they can for


Discontented society

But has all this made us happy? I don't

thinks so. Listen to the news, the

phone-ins, look at social media and

comments posted on the internet, and

you will find most of what is being said

is negative. Could it be that a selfish

society is also the discontented society?

In his letter to the Philippians, a

letter soaked with joy, St Paul says: 'Do

nothing from selfish ambition or

conceit, but in humility regard others

as better than yourselves. Let each of

you look not to your own interests, but

to the interests of others.' What a

contrast to today's attitudes!

One of my favourite Christian

books, Celebration of Discipline by

Richard Foster has a chapter entitled

'The Discipline of Submission'. Doesn't

sound like much fun, does it! But

Richard says that each discipline has a

corresponding freedom, in this case,

'(the) ability to lay down the terrible

burden of always needing to get our

own way' The obsession to demand

that things go the way we want them to

go is one of the greatest bondages in

human society today. People will go

weeks, months, years in a perpetual

stew because some little thing did not

go as they wished. They will get mad

about it. They will act as if their very life

depends on the issue.

Richard goes on to comment: 'If you

will watch... you will see, for example,

that virtually all church fights and splits

occur because people do not have the

freedom to give in to each other.'

Make a start

We all need to learn how to liberate

ourselves from the stifling slavery of

self-interest and fear. Here is a modest

suggestion for how to make a start.

Practice the art of speaking positively.

Set aside a day to begin with, then as it

gets easier, try a week, a month and

resolve to make two positive remarks

about someone or something, for every

negative remark you make. Don't allow

yourself to get too far into deficit! For, as

we begin to see the good in each other,

we will find the ability to have the same

mind, the same love in full accord with

one another.