Balancing Selflessness and Selfishness

07 Dec 2020

No one can deny being selfish at times. Even though we may strive for selflessness, all humans have a built-in selfishness in them.

What I call selflessness may seem selfish for another person. We can do many things for someone, yet for just one or two incidents we can still be called selfish. What many don’t understand is that we can be selfish towards some people and in some areas of our life and may or may not be with everyone and every area of our life. Some may find happiness in serving others while some might choose not to do things for others.

Selfless people get more appreciation than selfish people because a selfish person doesn’t fit into the society’s norms. In our culture we are taught to think of other’s before our own needs. Probably this was done so that we don’t get self-absorbed and disregard others by being egoistic and live only for ourselves.

People choose to be selfless or selfish regardless of the reason. Maybe it’s in their personality or based on their past experiences or they are just that way. Both are right in their own ways.

Don’t you think we take a decision based on our strongest desire and not based on everyone’s desire? While the same decision can be acceptable to some, others may disagree and will find us selfish if we don’t meet their expectations. They may assume that we are indulging in your own happiness, rather than do things for them or others.

Trying to maintaining others approval and validation is a constant work in progress. Thinking of others should be based on situation. We shouldn’t be taken advantage of or exploited. We shouldn’t let things go to the extent that people start demanding from us. Over a period of time we will be expected to make bigger sacrifices which leads to resentment.

Taking care of oneself is not selfishness and should be made a priority. Only if you take care of yourself you can help others and do things for them. We shouldn’t allow our wellness to suffer when putting others first.

Sometimes, we have to be selfish to be selfless…..Both are not good or bad. Extremes are not helpful either and a healthy mix has to be maintained.

So it’s all about doing things from our heart without thinking of the reward, but knowing when to say yes or no and knowing exactly where to stop without overdoing anything is equally important.

To strike the right balance to benefit our own self and others, I feel “We have to selfishly love ourselves and selflessly love others”.

Written By

Sujitha Sanil

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