No one really likes a selfish person.
Is it because WE want want they’re having? (hypocrisy)
Because they’re treating people (and themselves) like crap and it hurts to watch (empathy)
In reality I think we all have a mix of both these responses. I don’t like to admit it but definitely feel the first one a lot. The idea that people have what they don’t deserve and that I would do much better with it. And I know through my ongoing experiences of selfishness that in those moments, which are hardwork, stressful and unbalanced, I am not truly me. I am my ego.
I think the most important part of the word selfish is the second half.
We are not fully us, we are only alluding to an idea of ourselves – an expectation from our ego of who we should be. We act as a member of a group, a mob, we are anonymous because we just want to fit in. Acting out of the ego is acting into the status quo, and the shifting of one’s perspective from that of meaning to one of meaninglessness. To me the idea that our primary drive, (as animals with the capacity to self-analyse and produce the great works that we have) is to simply be self-preserving, is depressing. With consciousness comes a capacity for so much more – our true selves are evolving in beautiful synchronicity with our maturing conscious awareness of our place in the world.
We can never be fully not selfish. It’s impossible. We have to live in our own bodies and minds afterall, and make decisions about what we’re going to do, how we’re going to spend our time etc every single day (and these decisions are underpinned by self-preservation, they have to be, we are finite beings with a limited capacity for energy). But that doesn’t mean that we must conform to destructive and negative notions of self.
Our job is to crush these notions. Prove them to be nothing more than a lazy lowest common denominator that together, we can rise above.
Selfishness is generally a response to fear (a multitude of different fears). Our society is built to exploit our fears. Fear of being alone, of losing our job, of having an unrespectable job, of appearing different, of ignorance, of not having the latest trends, of being left out, of losing all our money, of immigrants, of those not like us, of not looking the right way, etc add your own. There are markets to cater for all of our fears. Where there is fear there is a market. And more accurately, where there is a new market there is space for new fears, and potential for profit.
Selfishness, is our response to these fears. It is our individual attempt to reconcile our fear by displacing them. But it IS a response. And as such it can be subverted. Response implies a certain amount of changeability. Choice.
What are our fears? Are they rational? How do we respond to them? Where do other people fit into that? How do we respond to other peoples’ fears? If we don’t attempt to locate, define and address our fears (we all have fears) then we will continue to function as un fully-realised self-ISH people, consuming the exploitative garbage presented to us from the market of our fear.