There are some pretty cool things about being an only child. You certainly don’t lack attention, and you have a shot at better resources to pay for a better education. But there are some serious advantages to being a kid in a large family. One of the most profound is that you are not allowed to take yourself very seriously. The peanut gallery will keep you humble.
St. Paul knew that our sinful egos are restless forces that need to be controlled throughout our lives: “By the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment” (Romans 12:3).
How will you know if you are getting a little too full of yourself? Just listen to the people around you. Ask them, and they will tell you. Pay attention to their little suggestions about talking less in a group and listening better. Choose to be more interested in drawing out other people’s stories than in telling tales of your own exploits. Decide that making other people feel important doesn’t diminish you. You won’t have to thump your own chest to get noticed—your works of love will speak for themselves.
It is one of the sweet ironies of the Christian life that the more you serve other people and the more you deny yourself and follow Jesus, the more other people will like and appreciate you.