Where is the line between selfLESS and selfISH?
Is being selfless when you give to those that don’t ask or is it always giving regardless of their inquiries and your stature? Is it a state of mind?
Is it selfish when someone requests something of you to benefit themselves and their family but you choose not to? You choose not to because of how it may inconvenience you? If it’s detrimental to you and YOUR family, then is it selfish?
Jesus H. Christ, these aren’t easy questions.
I personally always want to help others. I’ve never been to a homeless shelter or been to a soup kitchen. BUT, I spent many years helping kids and adults alike through the realm of martial arts while probably profiting for 20%. The rest of it was moreso good will and donation of time and energy. And trust me, it wasn’t enough to feel guilt.
But when people put you in positions where you feel guilt for not giving up what you may have – whether that be time, resources, space … are you at fault? Is that manipulation or is the one posing the inquiry selfish…?
If we continue to give up what we have in order to help others we are left with nothing. Clothing, money, food, shelter, the basic needs of life will be something we are always seeking. We’ll never move to the next step.
So I suppose, from Maslow’s diagram, we need to hold onto everything I initially listed. Excess can go… and should go. That old sweatshirt I never wear, let’s donate it. We’re never going to eat this can of beans, bring it to the food pantry. Hey, let’s switch apartments with the guy downstairs because he just got full custody of his daughter and we have more space…
Nope. Again, is that selfish? Maybe? But if your focus to grow your “Safety Needs,” then how selfish is it really?
In order to give to others (and I don’t mean the people who are down on their luck, I mean everyone)… you’ve got to take care of #1. Giving up all that you’ve worked for to help someone else out, sets you back. 5 steps forward, 6 back. If I suffocate, then I can’t put that smile on someone’s face today….although, some sick bastard might smirk.
If you built your home and you’re still in the process of growing within it, you don’t switch shelters. The hermit crab that JUST found his new shell and is growing within it cannot go back to the smaller shell. He won’t fit. Even if he physically did, he’ll psychologically be unhappy. His ability to build his dream business, “The Krustiest Krab” will be significantly impaired or even annihilated. But he should rethink that name. No one’s eating at The Krustiest Krab. It sounds like an offshoot STD.
But is that true? It’s a metaphor, but I truly don’t know. If you’re focus is putting your opponent in checkmate, you’re about to win, and then your King is put in check… any thought you had of “checkmate” is gone. You’re set backwards and your future plans are put on a backburner. The board will change and your plans for checkmate have to change. You’re now back to the drawing board.
Accomplishing more means securing all the steps below you. Unless you’re working out, no one runs down the steps with their goal being to reach the top. Even so, it’s a race to the top and then you come back down, a little slower and a little more accomplished, but to do it again. Knowing that Maslow’s Needs only need to be PARTIALLY met, you’re goal is to move to the top. How many successful people chased their dreams living out of a van? Plenty. I know there’s athletes (at least one I know of, I’m sure there’s way more) whom have done the same thing.
The need was partially met.
But for real, how true are people’s intentions? How many times have people manipulated others to get what they want? Little kids do it all the time, the little shits. They’re always smarter than you think. But it’s the parents job to teach them otherwise. If they don’t… well, the history books are FILLED with these fuckers.
- concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own; unselfish.
- (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.
This question probably could have been settled 2k words ago.
Give what you can, but if what propels you to the top is simply money, greed, or your own wants – you’re selfish.
If your purpose to get to the top of those stairs is to have more means to help others, give back, and create, then your drive is fair – you’re selfless (mostly… unless you dress in orange, shave your head, and meditate for 5 hours a day).
I write and express to satisfy my own need… but I do it out of love to help, inspire, and spread joy – not for profit. Although, my bills aren’t paid with love and hugs. Oh boy, what a paradox…