I recently was thinking about a personal problem of mine, and trying to come up with a solution to it when it struck me that the problem was not a problem of my circumstances as mush as it was as problem of the way I viewed me in relation to my circumstances. The whole problem was that I was viewing people as objects to make me feel the way that I want to feel. In other words, I was thinking about other people in a selfish way. People are not meant to be used for the purpose of I, but to fulfill the purpose of I. People are not here to make me happy or to provide to me what makes me happy. That is simply using people, and it’s only a matter of time before the realization strikes that people are being used, and that will correctly cause a sense of guilt. We can’t demand any of the things that are truly important to us. We cannot demand love, kindness, respect, friendship, or a time commitment from others. We do not have the right. We are free to do what we please, but only with ourselves in ways that affect ourselves.
So then, what to do? Rather than thinking of a personal need and wanting others to supply that need, look at others and see how you can supply their personal needs. Rather than wanting someone to be something for you, want to be something to them. Try to work hard to help them.
It comes down to the statement, to give is gain. That statement sounds so foreign and backwards often because of the way our minds have grown accustomed to thinking backwards. However, there is nothing odd about that statement at all. And we naturally tend to think about that statement in a material sense, as in giving money or belongings to those who need, but the statements should really apply to all things. It is gain to give time, energy, love, thoughts, a word of encouragement, a compliment, and thousands of other things to others. People don’t really need material things here in America where we are drowning in our possession, they need things that we are. We should strive to become for others what they need. Who knows, maybe if peoples personal needs such as love, kindness, friendship were fulfilled by others more often, then there would be less of a draw to make ourselves feel better by buying things.
In all of this I am saying don’t try to fix yourself with things and people. Try to be what others need. Don’t try to make a friend, try to be a friend. Don’t try to make someone love yo, find someone who you can be love for. Don’t try to earn kindness, give away kindness. When you do, you have given to others and have opened up room to receive, but that can't be the goal but a byproduct.