Am I Greedy?

He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.

-Socrates

Are we selfish? Being selfish is an issue that everyone says to avoid. But is it even possible to avoid selfishness? We all want something and want good things to happen to us. The fact that there is something that benefits us makes us want to do it. If there is nothing good is a result, we don’t want to do it. In the end, it’s every man for himself.

One might say, “If I die for someone else, how is that selfish?” Yes, that is not a ‘selfish’ action, but if you let them die then you would live with the shame of not saving them for the rest of your life. Although it’s not a good result of dying, you avoid the guilt of letting them die. If you look at it this way, it can be considered a way of being selfish.

A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor’s.

 -Richard Wately

The best thing we can do is choose when to be selfish and our intentions in being selfish. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes. If you worry about others all the time, you can’t take care of yourself. But if you’re selfish all the time, it can harm others or even yourself. Of course we can do things for ourselves, but if we don’t think about how it affects others, it’ll only bring pain.

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It’s a contradicting matter of whether or not something is selfish. But what influences the most about our viewing something as generous or greedy is society. We’ve been taught that certain things are good and certain things are bad.

The science behind media affecting us.

Selfishness is one of the ‘bad things’. People say it’s immoral to think only of yourself and helping others is better. Obviously, these are true in certain situations, but selfishness isn’t always a bad thing. We’ve been manipulated into thinking there is only greed (helping yourself at the expense of others) and selflessness (helping others at the expense of yourself). Of course people would view it as a bad thing if they’re only given two choices. But we can make our own choices. It’s hard to see through what we’ve been believing all our lives. It’s hard to change our viewpoint on something we’ve thought has always been true. It’s hard to change the ‘facts’.

Selfishness is a concept that allows people to be their own hero and experience their own happiness. We all want to be proud of ourselves and feel those emotions that bring us pleasure in life. Selfishness doesn’t have to be a bad thing. People view it as a bad thing because they don’t feel happy with what they have.

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However, there is indeed a ‘bad’ kind of selfishness. It’s when we do something that harms others or affects them badly just to meet our ends.

Glory, built on selfish principles, is shame and guilt.

-William Cowper.

But there’s always the good selfishness that helps ourselves and others. It brings us pleasure and makes us feel better about ourselves. It also builds us into who we are and what defines us as individuals. You develop a better relationship with yourself as well as others. Being selfish is a requirement to being happy.

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~Tam(:

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