To save time, I may dip into articles written in the past and simply incorporate some of those materials because I feel the need to get these perspectives out and in a piece. I therefore draw on one past article to paint for you a picture of the self-serving bias, which we use in our social interactions to emerge a winner. It’s the chief barrier to life working.
From “The Self Serving Bias,” March 7, 2011
The self-serving bias is the tendency to glorify one’s self and criticize or minimize others. It’s the tendency to play up one’s victories and successes and play down one’s failures and defeats. It’s the tendency to excuse oneself for anything that doesn’t work and blame it on others and not excuse others for anything that doesn’t work, etc.
I suspect that we all have a sense of it. And in fact we see world leaders particularly, but even the corner grocer, engaging in it continuously.
But I see it in myself as well. And I want no part of becoming concretized through the use of it. But how to cleanse myself? My normal approach would be to be transparent about it. Doing so carries a cost.
One could be accused of being maudlin, narcissistic, etc. for even speaking out about one’s own self-servingness. But I think the risk is worth it.
The self-serving bias will fossilize a person no matter what their intentions are. I’m inclined to think that it’s the primary corrupting agent in all of life and history: the tendency to want to glorify oneself, eventually at the expense of others. It’s the primary weapon of ego, as far as I’m concerned. It’s the house of ego: vainglory, hubris, pride.
If I started down that road, I’d begin the process of concretization. My awareness would begin to shut down. I’d silently and gradually turn from being an open and transparent person into one who created a story about himself in which he was the local hero, and all disappointments and defeats would be blamed on others. I’d move from being flesh and blood to being stone.
I’d follow so many lightworkers in a fall from grace. “Yah, he had something to say …. once.”
The self-serving bias is perhaps the worst virus among all viruses, the most silent, inconspicuous, and deadly. In the beginning it’s invisible but in the end it’s obvious. Just look at the Libyan dictator.
I hear one lightwalker calling himself the “father” of a field, another calling himself the sole representative of the galactics on Earth. Balderdash. We’re here in a common enterprise and it isn’t for the purpose of empire-building or self-flattery.
I don’t matter.
I say that to strike a blow at self-servingness.
It’s a simple fact: The “I” does not matter. The ego serves a caveman, but it doesn’t serve us. We want to aid world freedom and achieve unitive consciousness. I don’t want myself to succumb to the self-serving bias and so I declare that fact, flat out. I declare it publicly. I don’t want an empire. I don’t want to be influential. I don’t want to be flattered.
Having said all that, what’s the moral of the story?
It’s this: What you and I are involved in right now is too important to lose our grip on the factors that will bring us success. Failure would be all too easy and the rise of the self-serving bias is perhaps the largest single factor that would cause our failure in our attempts to accomplish anything of importance.
I want to realize the purpose of life – to known my true identity. I want to accomplish what God intended me to accomplish – to serve others and know love and compassion. I am as liable as anyone to succumb to the self-serving bias and so I declare that to all and sundry in the hopes that you’ll keep me honest if I perchance forget.
We’re building a world that works for everyone. We’re dismantling an elite structure that exists around the world and keeps people enslaved and hurting. We’re empowering people to live freely and enjoy life abundantly. There’s no room for vainglory in this work and I remind myself of that. I don’t want to be self-serving. I will not do so.
I want to live in a world that works, among people who are empowered and happy. In the realization of that vision, I do not matter, but we matter. We will push through and accomplish that vision. We will. Together, with no one of us more important than another, with no one’s accomplishment raised above another’s, we will build that new world.