“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” — Philippians 2:3-4
Many people were surprised to see the 2023 Masters winner — the world’s top golfer — Jon Rahm back on the course at the RBC Heritage tournament the very next week following his most recent major victory. While it would have been understandable to take a week or two off and enjoy the win with family and friends, Rahm was back at it a few days later to the delight of the fans in attendance.
When asked about his decision to play that following weekend, Rahm explained that he couldn’t justify putting his feet up for a weekend at home when people had paid good money to watch him play and were hoping to see him in action. Coming from a relatively small town in Spain, he understands the importance his success means to the everyday people. He was simply unwilling to deprive folks of the chance to watch him just because he’d won a significant tournament and wanted to chill out. In this case, winning a major wasn’t enough of a justification for him to drop out. Truly impressive!
Jon Rahm’s comments got me thinking about the importance of putting yourself in other people’s shoes, thinking about how they would feel if you did or didn’t do a certain thing. This is certainly not to be confused with people-pleasing and sacrificing the best of who you are just to make others happy or meet their every expectation. Rather, it’s selflessly looking at a situation and realizing that your own happiness isn’t the only thing going into the equation. How others feel matters too, and what may be a great move for you personally could greatly disappoint or jeopardize the wellbeing of others.
Jesus said the two greatest commandments were to “love the Lord your God” and “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31), and one of the key ways of doing that is evaluating how others feel. Sometimes there are moments when inconveniencing yourself in order to show love and intention to another is worth it.
Perhaps in your life there are ways in which you can be better at taking the feelings or needs of others into consideration. Maybe there are decisions you’re making or actions you’re taking that are (or aren’t) helping them sense that you are trying to put yourself in their shoes to understand and see things from their perspective.
Taking an interest in others sometimes necessitates pivoting in little ways that may inconvenience you, but will show care and intentionality toward those around you in ways that make the sacrifice worthwhile. To be a good teammate, a good coach, a good friend or good family member, you need to be able to see things from someone else’s view, and be willing to do what you can to show them you care, even if it means an adjustment or sacrifice on your part.
— Katherine Singer
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