Who is not selfish in this world? Are all of us selfish? Do we always think of ourselves first? Will you call me selfish even if I donate a large part of my earnings? When will you call me a selfish person, and when will you say that I am not selfish? For that which qualities are needed in me? One more question – is selfishness bad always? Could the world have gone so forward if people were not selfish? Selfishness and selflessness, these two words can make us think about our society, our values, the world in bigger perspective, and ourselves. Let us begin.
A family earns money first to feed itself. If something extra is left, it may give a part to the society. It is for the family to decide about how much it will save for itself first and when and how much part of its surplus will it give to the society. If a family decides to save at least a year’s expenses for itself and begin donating only after that, will you call it selfish? This is very subjective assessment. Am I correct? Another family, which has saved nothing for itself but begun donating, can call the earlier family selfish, and the earlier family can advise the second family to save for the rainy days first. This all sounds so confusing.
For example let us talk of two very good friends. One of them forgets to bring a very essential thing to the examination, say – a calculator. He/she requests the best friend to lend a calculator for the examination, but the other friend refuses. Which of these two friends is selfish? The person who is requesting the calculator after forgetting to bring it, or the person who refuses to lend it? How much for myself and how much for you? This question comes at a very stage of our life. For example- parents will not know how to divide if all the children want the same piece of cake. Every one of us has his/her opinion on this subject. It is our values and emotions that govern our definition of selfishness. Some of us may think nothing of giving away our life for fellow countrymen and some of us horde so much wealth for themselves that they do not know what to do with that. One can keep on talking and presenting arguments and examples infinitum, but no two persons will agree about this subject fully, because their perceptions are different.