Selfishness has never been a glorified trait among humanity. Caring chiefly about one’s own needs is frequently named as one of the greatest threats to society and causes of degeneration and degradation within it.
After all, a selfish man is supposed to be a guy who offers nothing to society. He’s nothing but some leech that cares about himself, and he’ll go to great lengths just to put down others so he can stay on top.
Au contraire. Used in the wrong capacity, sure, selfishness could certainly hurt others. However, being selfish, in of itself, is not bad. Thinking about it as a negative trait, however, may certainly be introducing a daily dose of cognitive dissonance to your life.
Such dissonance comes to the fore as you finally realize the inevitable fact that everyone has selfish tendencies.
We all aim to promote ourselves first, followed by others. Throw a big steak in front of you while you’re starving, and have the option to leave it there for someone else or die, and you’re eating that steak.
Survival is coded into our biology.
However, society promotes the idea that leaving the steak would be more admirable. Promoting ourselves over others is bad, and we should instead seek to help others over ourselves.
The conflict between society’s vaunted ideal of selflessness versus your biological desire to tend to your own needs mounts and builds, and eventually people are left attempting to help each other become better, but never helping themselves become better, even though they are the only ones who can do so.
And that, my friends, leads us in a perfect circle of solving nothing.