Okay to be Selfish
By Randy Gage
Take a businessman
who keeps a terrible employee because he feels sorry for her. He
hasn't the heart to fire her because her life is a wreck, her mother
is an alcoholic, her husband's in jail – whatever - and so he
enables her self-destructive behavior and lifestyle by keeping her
on. In keeping this employee, against his better judgment but for
the moral good – his other employees must take up her slack. They
begin to feel resentful and angry. Performance suffers across the
board. Even hardworking, dedicated employees start to slack,
because they see that they are not treated and rewarded in respect
to the effort they contribute. The customer service declines and
sales start going down. Now everyone’s job is threatened.
But let’s say the
businessman had done things differently, selfishly, for the
betterment of himself and his company. He calls the errant worker
into his office and after explaining why, he lets her go.
This could be the
wake-up call she needs to re-evaluate her life and approach. She
looks for a job better suited to her skills and can do well. Or she
repeats that same performance, and hopefully gets fired again, so
she has another chance to learn the lesson she needs to learn. And
just as important, our original boss has a company that isn't in
jeopardy and a happy crew to work with.
In a free society,
where the needs of the individual come first, people are liberated
from guilt and anxiety. Self-sacrifice is more than the root of low
self-esteem, it is anti-free enterprise and consequently
anti-humanity. When the living energy of productive citizens is
sucked from them by the parasitic herd, what incentive is there to
Every man and
woman of integrity should earn their own living in the free trade of
value for value with others. This means no free rides. No pride in
receiving the unearned.
Today you have
everyone telling you to be selfless, and take care of others. If
you buy into this craziness, you are doomed to a life of lack,
misery, frustration, of unrealized dreams, and settling for
mediocrity. Adopting self-sacrifice as a virtue enables others to
take complete advantage of you and, practiced long enough, selfless
behavior ultimately destroys you. You have no purpose in life,
other than placating others and seeking their approval. Which you
can only earn by giving up your own happiness. This is sick,
twisted and dysfunctional, but it is what a lot of forces will be
trying to program you to do.
success and prosperity begin with your fundamental core values. The
things that are the most important to you, as this drives the
actions you take every day. And these spring forth from your
central purpose in life. Have you ever thought about your purpose in
If not it may mean
you have to dramatically alter the view you have of yourself, and
your role in the world. If you’re like most people, you define
yourself by your roles (husband, engineer, symphony board member,
etc.), and you view your purpose through the eyes of servicing
others, contributing to the greater good, or looking after the
people around you. And that is insane!
If you define
yourself by your roles (someone’s wife, someone’s husband), then you
have no personal identity. Which means a low self-esteem and
opinion of yourself.
People who spend
their existence worrying solely about the needs of others and not
themselves are not noble, benevolent, and spiritual. They are just
And because they
don’t look after their own needs first, they really can’t help
others in a healthy way. They can console them, participate in
their drama, or enable their co-dependence, but they can’t offer
them real, meaningful help.
You know that to
love anyone else, you must first love yourself. But are you really
aware of what that means on a practical application level? You must
live your life by the fundamental values of:
Now tie these
together with the discussion on selfishness, meeting your own needs
first, and creating a life of happiness. Your highest moral purpose
must be your own happiness. Because this is the only healthy, sane
way to live. And the only way that ensures the survival of the
species, and the well being of the most people. In fact, it is the
only honorable way to conduct any relationship!
You must not
sacrifice yourself to others because that is depravity.
It is depravity because it is a certain state of moral corruption
and degradation. It is sick, a sure symptom of mental illness. Do
you really get that?
And likewise for
the opposite situation. You shouldn’t ask others to sacrifice
for you, for that is no less sick and depraved. Corrupting the
morals of others is no less evil than corrupting your own. It
doesn’t serve anyone to degrade yourself or to degrade others. And
that is exactly what sacrificing yourself for others is. When you
have your own happiness as your highest moral purpose, you have a
productive – and moral – reason to exist. And here’s the important
If everyone did
this, the world would be a much better place!
Instead of dysfunction, depravity, and codependence, we would have
healthy, functional, value-for-value relationships. No one would be
asking you to sacrifice for them, and you would behave the same
way. That is how healthy relationships are done.
The next important
fundamental value is running your life by reason. Which means that
you analyze things with the criteria of whether it serves your
highest moral purpose, which is the perpetuation of your happiness.
And that is where
this all leads to. You know exactly what brings value to you, and
furthers your purpose, which is a life of happiness. It means
accepting that you are supposed to be happy and working towards that
end, without guilt. Rejecting the herd thinking surrounding you and
refusing to give in to guilt rackets that are practiced on you.
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