Selfishness is an ugly trait. If there is one thing in the world I’m always going to strive not to be, it’s probably selfish, because there is firstly no reason for it other than an exaggerated opinion of your own value (which is not above the value of others), and secondly you are doing yourself so few favours by being selfish.
I should probably point out at this point that my rant of today is being triggered by the attitude of some people in my life, and I am going to attempt to analyse the annoyances I have with the attitude itself, rather than the people involved (as I have gotten myself into trouble with friends before on this blog for writing things in a way that offended people – something I absolutely never intend to do).
So, selfishness can come in many forms, and I think it’s fair to say that despite striving to not be it, everyone has moments of selfishness. I often selfishly take the last of whatever there is on the plate, because it looks delicious and I want it. But these low acts of selfishness are probably OK, because the fundamental thing is, I’d never take the last slice of pizza if someone else had said that they wanted it. In isolation selfishness happens, and is fine. In a situation involving others, selfishness should be avoided because, as previously mentioned, it’s ugly and it gets you nowhere.
But Sally, I hear you cry, selfishness does get you somewhere – it gets you to the thing that you selfishly wanted. Well yes, voices in my head, you’re not wrong. But that’s a temporary thing. Yes, you have the world the way you want it, but in my situation at least, you have that at the expense of a degree of friendship and possibly the offer of reciprocal help should you need it. The thing you are holding on to is nice, and yours, but it probably won’t be that way forever, and in the meantime, I’m forming opinions about you as an ugly character, which I won’t drop easily when you next come to me for help. It is there that the loss occurs, and other people are so important that I’d never want to lose someone over something.
Let’s just tackle the other aspect of selfishness now. An over-inflated sense of worth. I don’t care how you put it in your own mind, if you think that you deserve something which someone else wants, already has, or needs, you are wrong and have an over-inflated sense of worth. You deserve nothing in life – you earn things. They might be nice, material things, or those wonderful intangible things like friendship and respect, but you never deserve them, they can only be gained through your actions. If you’ve grown up thinking you deserved things, it’s time to change that attitude, because I may write a rant on a blog and treat you with a small degree less of friendship, but other people won’t be so kind.
Don’t be selfish. Being selfless will make you feel better, gain you the things you really need in life, and avoid all kinds of conflicts. Plus, I won’t secretly hate you.