Is It Really So Bad To Be Selfish?

Hello again,

So where did I leave off yesterday? Well, I think there are so many ways I can build off of what I said. I can connect my yesterday post, of the principle of ‘breaking rules‘ to so many things.

I decided, though, that I’m going to lead off my last point–that no matter what one does, their actions will be breaking the rules/laws of someone else/something else (remember, moral and personal laws can go anything from driving at a certain speed to saying or doing the ‘right’ things, according to others).

The thing is, you’ll just drive yourself crazy and straight into unhappiness if you let everyone else’s rules govern your life. Of course, there is a respect aspect to following another’s wishes, but if this goes too far, you no longer are in control of living your own life; you’re letting someone else decide for you.

You hear this kind of thing on the radio or in books all the time – stay true to yourself, be your own person, or stand up for yourself. I think that we all have decided that doing that is great and all, but when it really comes down to it, the act of ‘staying true to one’s self’ is accepted far less. For example, it can be a real inconvenience for authority to deal with the people that experiment and try new things–breaking away from the old and accepted.

Another common misconception with ‘staying true to one’s self’ is that it’s considered selfish. It really is. “You’re selfish–you only think about yourself”, or, “you don’t care about others”.  Many times in my life, those words have been spoken to me. It’s because I have learned to stand for what’s right for me, despite what other’s think. My own personal laws and rules, the maxims that I live by. I’ve realized that by doing this, I am so much happier, because I’m not sacrificing myself for the benefit of others. I respect those that have–Gandhi and Mother Teresa are the first one’s to come to mind–but I think that they had a different purpose and direction in their lives, and I simply am not in the same place. I make different kinds of sacrifices.

Because one doesn’t want to give themselves away all the time, they are often accused as being selfish. What seems ironic to me is that everyone has a selfish side, even those that accuse others of selfishness. It’s not harmful to care for yourself, but harm is caused when one imposes themselves on another. Simply put:

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.  ~Oscar Wilde

English: Oscar Wilde, photographic print on ca...

Oscar Wilde

This is an extremely powerful quote. It wraps up everything I’m trying to say in a mere sentence. By this definition, the selfish person is not the person that takes care of themselves, but the one ‘asking’ or, better, imposing themselves into another’s life–and it’s true.

You see, I believe that we came into this world to live our own lives, not others’. It should be our own set of personal rules, laws and morals that govern us first, then, with a grain of salt, all other laws and rules, for is it a delicate balance between staying true to one’s own truths, and following the laws that everyone must follow, even the one’s that are disliked or inconvenient.

The thing that many may misunderstand is that because I have spoken up, I am an awful person. Instead, I see myself as a better person. I have ended damaging relationships, gotten away from pathways in my life that I don’t want to follow, and become a happier, stronger and kinder person. I’m not evil because I had to do stuff that was hard, instead I feel cleaner.

All right, that’s it from me today, if you want more of this kind of talk, check out The Moral Issue and The Moral Issue, Part 2. Thanks again everyone, and please do share with others, as I am putting a lot of effort into this writing. See you tomorrow!



2 thoughts on “Is It Really So Bad To Be Selfish?

  1. Powerful topic! I enjoy reading your blogs. I see that you thrive on controversial topics. Good for you! those are the best ones to sharpen the brain. To back up what you said, I think that this quote really sums up how selfishness is not a good thing :).
    Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

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