Most people hear the world “selfish” and quickly assume it’s an incredibly put down.
Anybody labeled as “selfish” is generally thought to be evil, uncaring, mean, even manipulative.
This is incredibly wrong.
The truth of the matter is that EVERYBODY is selfish, all the time.
In fact, it’s impossible for humans, any human, to NOT be selfish.
Think about it.
We all come into this world programmed to get our needs met, whatever they are, as our one and only prime directive.
Of course, there is short term selfishness, and long term selfishness.
And when people generally label somebody as “selfish” in a negative way, they’re generally referring to short term, even short sighted, selfishness.
For example, if you’re hungry, and you don’t have any money. There’s a few things you could do to alleviate the problem.
You could knock somebody over the head and steal their money.
You could steal some food from the store.
You could sit on the street and beg.
You could go dumpster diving behind McDonalds.
You could go from shop to shop asking for food in exchange for some work.
You could join a work training program at the local homeless shelter, and promise a certain amount of future “volunteer” hours in exchange for a place to sleep and a bed.
All of these are selfish, in that the ultimate goal is to get your needs met.
How you meet them is what makes the difference.
I’m sure you’ve heard of this story, but it bears repeating.
Heaven and Hell are the same.
There’s plenty of food, but everybody’s got these really long spoons.
In Hell, nobody trusts each other, so they can’t eat. They can’t reach their mouths with the long spoon.
But in Heaven, everybody’s helping each other out. One person dips his long spoon into the bowl of food, and feeds his friend. This his friend reciprocates.
Both inhabitants, of Heaven and Hell, are selfish.
But the folks in Heaven realize the secret of all trade and commerce, and the reason why there is so much incredible wealth in the world today, when only a few hundred years ago there was very little.
And that secret is this:
You can get whatever you want in life. Just figure out first how to give others what they want, and somehow, you’ll get yours.