Wanted: Bit Part Actors

In the book, Blue Like Jazz, the author says that God taught him something during a time that he was sharing a house in Portland with several other single guys.

Life was not a drama about him where all the rest of the world were bit actors.

The root of all evil is selfishness.

And not the kind of selfishness where Johnny takes Billy’s baseball cards so he can have more.  Well, that’s one way it looks, but it’s not just about it getting more.

It’s about being the center of the Universe.

We aren’t it, folks.

But every morning when we wake up, we’re thinking about what WE need for that day.

If I were to ask you straight up if you saw me as a bit part in the story about you, you’d say I was being ridiculous, but that is truly how many of us live if we just “go with the flow.”

The problem is based on one of two things.  If you are a Christian, you believe in the sin nature and understand that man is born without the best interests of others.  If you believe differently then you would probably acknowledge that those of us who have survived best over the years have done so in part by looking out for #1.

The problem, of course, is that none of us can survive in a 100% selfish mode past about the age of 3.  No one wants to be our friend, no one wants to hire us, and no one (except perhaps our mothers) wants to love us.

So what is the alternative?

Most of us live with an unspoken attitude that we will “try to do the right thing as long as we get what we want.”

Very few people set off to be complete jerks and idiots to others.

We generally want to go along with our friends, our bosses, and our family, but only as long as we get what we want.

When we don’t get what we want, we get stressed, angry, defensive, and occassionally out of control.

Remember that anger almost always has at it’s root cause a distance between our expectations and our reality.

Looking For Alternatives

Since the job of center of the universe was taken before the universe was ever created, we are all basically trying to apply for a job that is not open.

There is one job opening that is always available to us although it may or may not pay — bit actor.

The rest of the world hasn’t read my blog and so they don’t realize they can’t be the center of the universe.

So they wake up every day looking for bit actors to play in their dramas.

You don’t even have to apply, you can just jump right in. 

Today I got to play:

Kradan’s gardner.

Logan’s tutor.

HP’s support engineer.

Target customer.

Publix shopper.

Dental Hygenist’s victim.

Now only one of those will get me a paycheck and I’m not saying that you should never have a goal or a dream of your own, but I do think that it helps us to wake up in the morning and remind ourselves who this drama is and is not about and find a place where we fit in today.


About kentostby
Kent Ostby is a fiction and efficiency writer who is willing to dabble in just about any other phase of writing as well.

One Response to Wanted: Bit Part Actors

  1. bunnystuff says:

    Hi Kent,
    Good post. Selfishness is something we all need to watch out for and guard against. It so easily takes over lives!
    Keep up the writing!
    Jaimie Bell

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