A quick thought on selfishness…

with 2 comments

“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live” 

Oscar Wilde

Selfishness.Why is that that some people really do seem to believe that somehow they are more important than other people?  That their opinions, or emotional needs must take prevalence over the opinions or needs or others?

I experienced an ugly amount of self importance and self interest from certain family members as a child, and I seem to still experience it now – same shit, different people.   Perhaps Freud had something with his theory of transferance

A thought for another day


Written by Lores

March 17, 2009 at 10:31 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Lores…. I believe it starts with the primal survival instinct. I think there is some inherent deep genetic coding that makes self-preservation an priority for many of us.

    Even the benefits of community serve the interest of the individual better than the individual could do on his/her own.

    In addition, we are primarily responsible for our own selves first. And I do not mean this in a selfish way. We have the leading role in the drama of each of our own lives. Nobody can live our lives for us. We in some sense need to put ourselves first in our own lives.

    I believe the distinction between a “healthy responsibility to self” and “selfishness” is whether others pay a price to give us what we want. In other words, selfishness is to take from others, responsibility to self is working with each other to get your won needs met while others needs are also met.

    (Then again, we could be less mature and just say selfish people are just assholes. But I will try to rise above such crassness.

    I suppose an analogy would be to picture a sports team. Take Rugby for instance. Selfishness may be represented by the ball-hog who once he has the ball passed to him, he tries to run it into the end zone on his own come hell or high water. He is seeking glory for himself by scoring the “try” (touchdown for you Americans). Now, in doing so, he is less likely to score because he is not working with multiple team mates against multiple oponents. But he is willing to risk the chance of being tackled and lose the ball for the hopeful glory of scoring the try.

    On the other hand, the team player who is skilled at passing and kicking and working together with his team mates to move the ball up the field will actually benefit all. Not just himself. But he works with all for all. Yet the team-player stands a better chance of being a winner (winning rugby games) because he works with others. As the team benefits, so does he.

    The ball-hog does not stand as good a chance at winning individually because he is one man against many oponents. And he takes from his own team mates by depriving them of the opportunity for the team to win by him seeking glory as a try-scorer.

    Both have interest in promoting and preserving self, but one works with other, the other works in spite of or at the expense of others.

    Thats the way I see it anyway.




    March 18, 2009 at 2:33 am

  2. “…their opinions, or emotional needs must take prevalence over the opinions or needs or others?”

    Um, that’s us bloggers covered then! he he 🙂


    March 19, 2009 at 1:40 pm

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