One. S/he holds it steady while the world revolves around her.
Although I could be imagining things, after reading three books on the topic, I'm sensing a shift in our society away from "others first" and towards "me first". After being on the receiving end of the finger the other day (from a very cocky teen on a long board in the middle of the road), I'm starting to notice more thoughtless and rude behaviour on a daily basis.
The result? In 2000 I took a job at the university and worked in that position until 2006. The change in student attitude and behaviour went from day to night in a matter of 6 years. We have more students telling us where to go when reprimanded for not following the rules than ever before. As a sessional lecturer for the school, I am challenged routinely for a better grade when the work is below par. Students are feeling more entitled than ever before and we don't think this is going to permeate into our society...we got another thing comin!
"The kids these days" are being raised with the belief that it is all about them. As a result, rules don't apply, their entitlement is a given, credit cards are abuse because they shouldn't have to work for anything that they can get now and the feelings, needs, and existence of others is none of their concern. Of course there are many great kids out there who don't fit this mold. So if you know some of these kids, tell them how appreciative you are of them.
Even my own niece expects expensive gifts and doesn't say thank you when she gets them. For some reason, parents aren't questioning the fact that kids need the laptop and cell phone before heading off to school. I'm amazed that a parent will provide their kid with a cellphone and pay their huge text bill without question. What we assume as normal these days completely amazes me.
At any rate, I highly recommend these books if you are a parent or work with kids/teens/young adults. I don't mean to pick on the "youth these days" as I realize there are many adults with the same "it's all about me" attitude. I, myself, have my self-centered days. Like anything else, awareness is the key to change. If you can start thinking less of what the world can give you and more about what you can give the world (excuse the JFK reference) then perhaps you CAN be the change you wish to see in the world (excuse the Gandhi reference). Say "hi" to strangers, lend a hand, volunteer, donate money anonymously, give your old clothes to the less fortune (and not to a second hand store for cash), be kind, be patient, and be aware that it isn't about YOU...it's about US.