I’m selfish me. You know what you are too.
Now before you protest with “You don’t even know me” Firstly I’ve seen you. Using your webcam and a small piece of Malware that gets installed every time I write a piece you don’t like I see all muhahahaha. Secondly, everyone without doubt is selfish to a certain degree.
It’s how the human race survived this long. It’s the survival of the fittest out there, how do you stay the fittest? Well you look out for number one, make sure there is enough food on your plate. Then and only then can you help others, but it’s only those others who you feel need help, which then in turns makes you feel good. Selfish!
Modern society has made selfishness a bad thing, morally, ethically. All charity appeals hammer home the same point, “How dare you live in comfort, because these other people/dogs/cats/donkeys/etc aren’t” You selfish bastard. The $50 you spent on your 30th Alex and Ani bracelet could have got a water pump for an African village. How dare you for working hard and wanting pretty things. Capitalist scum!
So I admit I’m selfish, and it’s a pretty good thing. Keeps me feeling good, and as luck would have it, those people around me benefit too. Worse than the likes of me, who openly admits a “I’m alright Jack” attitude are those people who refuse to admit they indulge at all. These people live, by their own reckoning an entirely selfless existence.
Religon plays a part here. People do “selfless” things to get a reward from a higher power or at least to gain favour, hardly selfless. But meanwhile on earth there are quite a few religious folks I’ve met who appear to have the air of superiority. To quote one guy talking about women “I’m a Christian, so it’s my duty to let her know she’s beautiful.”
So as an atheist I go around telling beautiful women they all look like a bull dog chewing a wasp for shits and giggles. No, the ability to make a person feel good about themselves is nothing to do with religion. Nor does this superior “God squad” outlook make you less selfish than anyone else, often it just means your pleasures are more closeted than mine, which isn’t a good thing.
Embrace the selfish once in a while, it’s probably what got you to where you are today.