The gray line

When does sacrifice ends and selfishness take over?

When does low self-esteem starts and humbleness rules?

When does patience ends and stupidity reigns?

When does confidence peaks and ego spoil it all?

These are all the gray lines in our lives. Have you wondered about them?

For example, I read about this mother who said she sacrificed 15 years of driving an old car so that she can get her daughter through college. It is sacrifice. But now, when she said that, does it sounds a little selfish that she may be putting undue pressures on her daughter to ‘payback’?

And my son asked me. Being humble is a good virtue but when does low self-esteem rears its ugly head? Can one gets too humble to the extend of being short selling one’s self and in the end, suffer from an esteem problem?

Yet again, it is good to have patience. It is the wise and mature way of dealing with things. But when we keep our patience, we may end up being stupid. Of being treated like a doormat.

Then, confident character is to be applauded. But sometime, ego took over and the person become an asshole instead.

Which is why, during yesterday mass’s something struck me. In the letter to the Galatians, St. Paul reminded us Christians that self-indulgence and freedom are at two opposing ends. So, it asked us, when does one do something for self-glorification and when does one charged ahead doing things as the Spirit (i.e. Jesus) demands? And I like this verse alot, a whole awful lot…

As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!

emasculate means to cut off the balls

So, my point is, the gray line is always very hard for us to discern with our human heart and mind. It is not easy for us to tell the borders of one end to the other side. We may think we are humble but in actual fact, we are in deep shit with our esteem. We may say we are sacrificing our own happiness for our kids, but in actual fact, we are pressuring them unnecessarily. Or we may think we are being wise and patience but the world is laughing at our stupidity for being taken advantage off. Some people may think you are an asshole with a big ego but it could just be a show of self-confidence.

Bah! I also cannot draw the gray lines in my lives. What about you?

10 Replies to “The gray line”

  1. To be honest, I really did not give it much thought. Like you said, it’s a hard thing to define. Summore people always like to rely on their conscience for guide. “I am accountable for my own conscience!” That’s the usual line.

    The truth is, conscience is subjective and definitely flawed by our very own emotions. **OK, people who cannot stand the mention of religion and Christianity can stop here.** God and the bible is the best standard we can adhere to. 🙂

  2. Gray line, huh? Well it’s up to each individual to decide and judge where the gray line is.

    As for me, I sincerely believe in moderation would be best. Never ever overdo anything, be it good or bad as the Spice Girls have already delivered it in their song, Too Much of Something Is Bad Enough. It’s definitely true.

    If you’re doing too much for others, cut some slack for yourself. If you’re doing too much for yourself, try treating others nicer. Life would be much fun when the joy is spread, be it to others or yourself

  3. I can’t draw those kinda lines either. To draw the line to the point of pleasing other people (e.g. when my self esteem is too low, I’m deemed pathetic and needy; when it’s too high, I’m being overconfident. That sorta thing) … well, I think it’s just a whole lotta stress on yourself.

    At the end of the day, I am accountable to no one but God. He loves me, and forgives me of my sins (not that I’m trying to push my luck, of course), and is there for me regardless. Hard to say the same about the everybody whom I’d be trying to please, eh? 😉

  4. Exactly! Which is why now I am older(not as naive) I don’t give a hoot anymore and I do what makes me happy, stay away from negativity(dun want that kinda chi’). keep being joyous.

  5. Lilian, gua ingat mak dia sudah lupa, lepas buat first degree kena pergi kerja gomen 4 tahun, lepas tu pergi specialist 4 tahun. Kalau mak dia nak tukar kereta lagi 10 tahun wor…!

  6. Sometimes I imagine this …
    Both my sons (now 3 and 5) hits 20 years old (means I have 17 years to wait only), I give each of them tickets, some $$, camera, passports and 1 year, to travel (of course must plan first lar..) we louyeh can rest for a year..
    We don’t expect our kids to take care of us, in fact I started visualizing Penang as a retirement place-if I live long enough lar…
    🙂

  7. ah! love such entries!

    such lines can never be drawn. even if one attempts to draw it… the line is subjectively define by each individual. that story about the mom who sacrifice her life … by driving the same car for 15 years? so that’s sacrifice? what is sacrifice to us… even that, we cant really draw a line.

    she is going to sponsor her daughter’s half a million worth of degee… if driving a single car for 15 years can get you 500 grand… that’s not too bad… dont u think?

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