As I wrote the title for this post, it occurred to me that the phrase, fill it up, might be a bit archaic. Due to the fact that the once prominent full service gas station has dwindled to a few in number, not many people pull up to a gas pump and say: Fill it up.
Getting filled-up was the daily goal of my family as we gathered around the dinner table each evening. This was also a time of conversation between family members that would, at times, end with a curious conclusion.
One evening, word had reached Mom and Pop about an incident at school. I was identified as the perpetrator and the crime was hurting the feelings of some (probably dumb) girl. So the conversation developed around how you can hurt the feelings of another person and what should be done when you do.
My youngest brother, Jeff, was about seven at the time, and he proudly joined the discussion by saying, I have feelings too, see! He opened his mouth to display his dental work and pointed to the fillings in his teeth.
Over the years, I’ve come to believe that a person’s feelings about self in particular and the world in general are closely connected to what fills that person’s life. Issues such as this deal with the concept of reciprocity, and it can be understood in terms of guilt and entitlement.
Guilty people feel they have given too little or received too much. On the other end of the spectrum, entitled people feel they have given too much or received too little. The thinking of these people is skewed when it comes to their obligations to others and the obligations of others to them.
Because the life of the guilty and the entitled are filled with misconceptions, their feelings are little more than deceptions. With this in mind, let me share an old adage of mine: You may not be what you think you are, but what you think, you are.
So, when it comes to life, we need to fill it up with the right things. To accomplish this, a person can take a mental step in the right direction by thinking on the right things.