Being Selfish - The New Normal

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5/13/20243 min read

Let me start the topic with a blunt question: Are you selfish? Many of you may answer this in your mind as ‘I am not, in fact, I am the most generous’. When I referred to the dictionary to understand the meaning of the word selfish, I found that the selfish is a person who seeks or concentrates on his own wellbeing and advantage, looks after his pleasure by giving no shit to the others. A selfish person is a person who knows no sharing and goes on accumulating for himself. The dictionary and society both have condemned the word ‘Selfish’. It is termed as a negative word. I know many of you may have been tagged by this word by your family or friends and you may have not felt great about it. I will give an insight into this beautiful term ‘Selfish’ and present a condition why a person must be selfish to be unselfish.

Being selfish is a state of being yourself. Being selfish means only to have the consideration of the self and not think about the world. All of you must be wondering what I really meant because since childhood we have been taught not to be selfish and help others. We must be considerate and always try to share what we have with us or within us. Let me explain it by giving an example. If we want to draw a circle, we cannot draw it unless we have a fixed or defined centre. Once the centre is fixed, the circle can be drawn of any radius. Here, we are the centre, and the circle is nothing but the envelope which covers over family and friends. The bigger the circle, the more people around you. The man is termed as a social animal and tries to make his circle bigger and bigger. The more it tries to make it big, the more it moves away from the centre, which means from the self. I had read a post on social media, on a man’s funeral there were hardly 10 people, but he had 2000 friends on Facebook. Naturally, he had a big circle but was he connected to his centre. Was he aware of the dot which he is himself?

You can be at your centre by only being selfish. The more you try to reach out to others, the more you try to showcase that you are not selfish, the more you expand your circle in reaching out to others, you lose yourself. You become eccentric and by that, you become off the centre. You do not have your individuality. You have no connection to your roots, to your real self and a person like this lives an egoistic life in a false impression that he has really helped to change the world. He believes that he had been of help to many, but the truth is beyond his imagination. He has lost himself.

Selfishness comes to every individual born naturally and by being not selfish, we try to become unnatural. We try harder to be unselfish and, in this effort, we remain selfish. We create a duality, a conflict within, and whatever we say to show the world our love and care, inner self tries to broadcast the opposite. How can a person share joy, love, happiness, ecstasy with others without being knowing what it is all about? The person who is not rooted to himself, not centred to himself knows nothing of all these adjectives. He can pretend to love or share happiness with others but deep down he has a different face, goes on deceiving himself.

The moment you become selfish, a purely selfish person, where you are at peace at your centre, you have known your true self, you automatically experience the whole of the universe. All come your way naturally and without any effort. In this state, you are bound to become unselfish. You become like a flower that is ready to share its fragrance with the whole world. The flower cannot keep its fragrance to itself, it has no choice but radiates. You become the overflowing and that is the real state of being altruistic. The sharing happens from your centre and in this case, you are neither selfish or unselfish, you have become a true source that has no end to it. You no longer are tied to your circle, as the radius of the circle has become infinite. Your sharing will not be limited to your friends and family, it will be for the whole of the universe. You will not be able to discriminate between the people you know and do not know. You are just at your centre being an omnidirectional antenna. Hence, selfish is not the word to be condemned, it should be accepted naturally. Next time, when you try to help or reach out to others, see whether you are rooted in your centre. Being selfish should be the new normal.

- Dr. Dhananjay Patel