Although not being actively selfish it does seem rather self important behaviour to not have the capacity to care for others needs.
I realised, rather embarrassingly, a few weeks ago that I had definitely reached this tipping point of attention to what I was doing compared to looking out for my friends when I started asking them the exact same questions I'd asked them the day before.
The answers hadn't changed. It made me think, while I am handling the work in front of me am I overcommitted, is this too much work and I just didn't notice? Further if it is too much work, why am I doing it?
To put the situation in a little more context, my university has a tendency to have three credit point subjects that should probably be worth twice that amount. A full time load is usually four, six credit point subjects.
This semester I took the standard load plus an additional two of the wonderful three credit point subjects. So with an officially thirty credit point load I knew this wasn't going to be an easy semester. But I was doing the subjects because I liked them, so it was going to be fun and rewarding.
All that being said though, it did reach a point, rather early in the semester, when I felt exactly how demanding this semester was going to be. At that point I could have dropped a subject without penalty, lightening the load. Why didn't I do that?
There could be many reasons, to get ahead in my degree, in my career? It could be for the enjoyment of tackling the challenges or to get in the good books with some lecturers?
A common thread in all these potential reasons is that all things are to do with me. Many reasons for being busy can relate to yourself, so really I think I should be asking is it a case of selfish pride that I chose to focus on myself, on my own goals for a semester?
Well, like all things it's complicated, a web of intricately related elements, but following this experience I believe it would have been wise to count the time and the focus I have for relationships to be more important than I did.
Food for thought, when you're busy, are you being selfish and prideful, putting yourself before others and getting caught up in your own world? A thought worth considering in this hectic age.
Sam Gillespie is an Undergraduate Composition student and a computer programmer based in Sydney
Sam Gillespie's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/sam-gillespie.html