We are an “I” centered society.
Unlike other languages, such as Spanish (yo) and German (ich), the English personal pronoun “I” is capitalized. Perhaps such focus on ourselves in writing is reflective of the attention we place on our own wants and needs. We think we’re all rock stars and deserving of undue attention. How we feel, how something relates to us, and how we are affected by a situation all-too-often takes precedent.
So how do we teach our children to respect and care for themselves while also focusing on the needs of others? Saint Theodora/Mother Theodore noted this concern in her diaries back in the mid-1800s. She observed while preparing young women to enter the community of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary of the Woods, and also educating the children in her schools, a noticeable spirit of independence in America that made it difficult for students to respect teachers and novices to accept vows of obedience.
Perhaps such attitudes are innate in humankind. Thousands of years ago Saint Paul wrote, “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. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:3-5).
In other words, we are advised to teach our children, through our words and actions, that most of all, i am concerned for You.