All That Matters Is What We Do in The End
Selfishness, we all suffer from it, have suffered from it, or will suffer from it. We were born that way. In our early years we learn “Mine”. As adults, it’s easy to continue with that thought. But All That Matters Is What We Do in The End.
Most of us are hard-wired to be selfish in some sort. In many situations selfishness is common. We want to take care of our children first, for example. Assuring that our children are safe and well provided for is a high level of concern.
Assuring that our family members are safe and well provided for is similar. Many people sacrifice for their children and family with no complaints. Some do not.
“Thus, most of us are hard-wired to conform to a core morality that includes protecting our children, dealing more or less fairly with other people, and placing limits on our selfishness,”.
— Christopher R. Beha
Merriam-Webster defines selfishness as:
1: the quality or state of being selfish: a concern for one’s own welfare or advantage at the expense of or in disregard of others: excessive interest in oneself
Selfishness is that attitude of being concerned with one’s own interests above the interests of others.
The Bible says “do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others,” (Philippians 2:3-4, NASB).
Buddha taught that “you” are not an integral, autonomous entity. The individual self, or what we might call the ego, is more correctly thought of as a by-product.
Confucius teaches, “What you do not want done to you, do not do to others,”.
The Tao Te Ching says in chapter 33 To know others is to be clever, to know yourself is to be enlightened.
Most of us know deep down inside when we are being self-serving and selfish. Sometimes it’s an honest mistake, sometimes it isn’t. The trick is to know when we are, and what to do about it.
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and it will not shorten the life of the candle. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
When I think of selfishness, I see a hand with its fist clenched tight, facing upwards. We try to hold on to all that we feel and believe is ours with all our might, fist clenched tightly. What we cannot see is that while clenching tightly to what we believe is ours, what we believe we are entitled to, cannot be added to.
When I think of selflessness, I see a hand opened wide, facing upwards. The symbolism of this exercise is to remind you that all we have, all we are, all we can be is not ours to keep, it is ours to share. By living life with palms extended up, more can be added.
“You only lose what you cling to.”
By realizing that we deserve nothing, we gain freedom. Freedom from the fear of loss. Freedom from the fear of lack. Freedom from the fear of not being good enough.
The Tao Te Ching says in chapter 46, “Whoever can see through all fear will always be safe.”
“If you light a lantern for another, it will also brighten your way,”
(Gosho Zenshu, p. 1898)
Gratitude and gratefulness are the answer to selfishness.
There is a story of a woman returning home from a long trip, and they delay her flight. Frustrated and tired, she visits the gift shop. While there, she buys a magazine and a bag of cookies. She proceeds to the waiting area, finds a section of the wall she can sit against because all the seats are full, and reads her magazine.
Soon a man sits next to her. They do not exchange pleasantries but ignore each other. Soon the woman notices the man reach down and he takes a cookie from the bag on the ground between them.
She was shocked. She thought to herself, “did he really just do what I think he did?” Soon, he grabbed another one, and then another until there was only one left. With a smile, he offers her the last cookie. Upset, she grabs the last cookie and eats it.
Her plane arrives, and they finally allow her to board. Angrily, she storms off, cursing him in her mind and thinking of him as the rudest person she could have ever encountered.
As she sits down in her seat on the airplane, she reaches into her purse, only to find her bag of cookies, unopened, in her purse where she put them after buying them.
Sometimes selfishness can overtake us, especially when we are tired, in an airport, and just wanting to be home. When you find yourself sitting next to someone in the same situation as you, share your cookies. You never know when they might not be yours.
Here is another article you might like. You can read it here:
If you have enjoyed this article, please visit me at www.JosephBinning.com for more helpful tips and articles.
You can also get more helpful information in my book You Matter, even if you don’t think so which you can purchase on Amazon here Amazon You Matter, even if you don’t think so
For my free report Happiness Is A Choice click here: Happiness Is A Choice Free Report
Remember: Happiness is a choice, so be happy.
 Selfishness noun/Merrian-Weber.com/accessed 11/05/2020/ https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/selfishness