Heel The World

One of my least favourite phrases is ‘You know the world doesn’t revolve around you Stephen!’ My wife, Fionnuala, has been known occasionally (as in most days) to direct this comment in my direction.

It drives me nuts because I am clearly one of the least selfish people I know. I work hard. I provide for our kids (see The Bank Of Dad blog for details), I love my wife and, despite my appalling DIY and cookery skills, try to help around the house. I don’t drink, smoke or take drugs (does a serious Diet Coke dependency count?)

I pay my taxes and give to charities. I help out several homeless people I have befriended in the city centre. I am an all round good bloke. Or so I keep telling myself.

The other morning I got out of bed and went downstairs to raid the cupboards for breakfast. As I opened one to get some bread to toast I was delighted to see a loaf of Nutty Krust sliced plain bread staring back at me. My favourite bread to toast. And even better the heel (or crust) was still intact. This is my favourite part of my favourite loaf. 


The slight downside to this was it is also Fionnuala’s favourite part of the loaf. Given this we have always had an uneasy understanding in recent years that when such a loaf is purchased we take one heel (the slice at either end of the loaf) apiece. Anyone who dared eat both heels would be guilty of a breach of said treaty punishable by death. Or at the very least the silent treatment for the remainder of the day.

A few weeks ago there was an outrageous violation of this age old contract. One of the aforementioned parties ate both heels! In order to save their embarrassment I will not name this person. But they weren’t female and their name did not begin with the letter ‘F’.

So I found myself the other day alone in the kitchen. Just me and the Nutty Krust luring me onto the rocks of toasting temptation. On one hand the delicious heel. On the other the wrath of my better half. 

I did the honourable thing, closed the cupboard door reluctantly, and took a banana from the fruit bowl. I was once more a wonderful human being and my act of loving selflessness was no doubt making the angelic hosts above weep with joy.

But it made me think. Was I really such a selfless soul? I have a very needy personality. My default setting is to be liked. I avoid confrontation at all costs. But this means I often put the needs of myself above the needs of others. And I thought of the countless times I had put my own selfish, sinful needs in front of the people who really matter. My wife and children. 

That morning in the kitchen was a tiny victory. But I have a massive hill to climb before I can even come remotely close to the selfless person I want to be. We all do. This is a selfie culture after all. But it was a start.

The world does not revolve around you Stephen….

How do you rate yourself on the selfometer?

When was the last time you put someone else in front of yourself?

What is your favourite breakfast?

20 thoughts on “Heel The World

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  1. Its Fionnuala here yes another great blog Stephen but you slipped up on the heel the other morning as it actually was yours to eat but in saying that I was overjoyed when I 👀 in the wrapper and saw it still there when you went to work it was like Christmas had come early lol

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  2. Good one, Stephan! My wife and I like different foods so we rarely have this kind of conflict. But back in the days when we used to eat a lot of meat my wife would inevitably make sure she ended up with the larger of the two cuts of steak, pork chops, etc. I thought it was incredibly selfish of her and a huge character flaw but never said anything, counting on the Lord to eventually make things right. I’m so glad I have no selfish traits like that! 🙂 Right. The Lord is shaking His head as I type this! I probably rate a 9 on the selfometer, self-occupied jerk that I am. But I did put our youngest granddaughter ahead of myself just this past weekend. The three of us went to Dave & Busters game arcade on Saturday and walked the zoo in 90-degree heat on Sunday, two of the last things in the world I would have chosen to do. But we did sneak in a stop at the LDR Char Pit for a steak sandwich after the zoo, so chalk one up for me. My favorite breakfast is two eggs sunny side up, rye toast, home fries, and a side of Rochester meat hot sauce on the side – a little taste of Heaven on Earth (and guaranteed to shorten your time on Earth).

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      1. I live in Rochester, New York, which is on the shore of Lake Ontario. Our claim to fame used to be being headquarters for Kodak but digital cameras then cellphones put an end to that. Whereabouts in Ireland do you reside?

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          1. Cool. Our grandson lives in Germany so we’ve made several trips to see him. We’ve also made trips to Italy, Poland, and Switzerland but not to Ireland yet, although my wife wants to visit.

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              1. Rochester is a relatively small city with none of the congestion of the NYC metro area. We haven’t made the 7 hour drive to NYC in many, many years. My wife would love to go but I keep dragging my feet.

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  3. Yikes convicting! Are you should be very good at putting any of those needs in front of my own to good in fact which landed me in therapy but since having and mental and emotional breakdown I have been very self-centered and feel very convicted

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  4. As a teacher, I constantly put the needs of my students in front of myself. Now that school’s out and I’m on summer break, I’m now putting myself first (after God of course)! Great post!

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