I am naturally and easily selfish.
"stinginess resulting from a concern for your own welfare and a disregard of others" - WordNet
I believe it tends to result from fear.
"a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined" - Dictionary.com
I encourage myself to practice discipline.
"training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement." - The Free Dictionary
Then things inevitably become difficult.
"requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure" - Word Net
Which results in fear and pain.
"a warning mechanism that helps to protect an organism by influencing it to withdraw from harmful stimuli" - Encyclopaedia Brittanica
It is at this point where we find ourselves reacting in a way that can then cycle us right back to selfishness.
Living in community does not allow you to ignore this process. Living in community forces you to make a decision at each pass. Living in community enriches your life through joy and celebration and intimacy and fear and difficulty and pain.
My community encompasses many, many people, but it starts within the walls of this repo double wide. It starts every time the sun comes up. If I cannot practice it, I cannot teach it by example. If my family cannot live it, we cannot share it.
Parts of this process become easier with practice, but IT is never easy.
I will forever wrestle with this ebb and flow of mankind, but I pray I never actually step out of the ring.
(title of post is a line from "No Man is an Island" by John Donne)
(photo by Billy Alexander, used with permission)