Selfishness vs. the Golden Rule

I’ve been grappling with this in the back of my mind lately, mostly because of some things a certain chick I know brought up.

Before I start rambling, let me clarify something. I use the word “selfish” in two different ways:

  • The normal sense. The definition that has a negative connotation to it. Paying attention to your own wants and needs before everyone else’s, for own benefit.
  • The ‘bitch‘ sense. I kinda sorta made this one up. Being selfish as in listening to your own wants and needs and what you deserve before trying to please everyone else.

Hopefully those make sense. And if it doesn’t now, hopefully it will once I get finished with this post.

[Re-reading those, it seems kind of opposite to call the negative connotation ‘normal’ and the other ‘bitch.’ But I haven’t heard people talk about being selfish as a good thing –> it’s always considered ‘wrong’ or bitchy. (I think I just confused the hell out of myself. Erghh.)]

Those definitions overlap in a lot of ways, but, in my mind, the ‘bitch’ one isn’t negative. I believe you have to ‘become a bitch’ in order to be selfless. If you always try and please everyone else, don’t take time to think of what you want, hold yourself to lower standards because of clashing standards (you vs. everyone else), then it’s time to open up your eyes as to how it is affecting you, stand up, hold up your middle finger, and walk away.
Bottom line: You can’t make everyone happy and you can die trying to do so, but are they worth it? If you can’t make everyone around you happy, why not make yourself happy first?

Sounds like common sense to some I bet. But to others – like me – the idea of putting myself first was horrifying. Aren’t we always littered with sayings and ads that tell us “Making others happy will bring us greater happiness” and “Do unto others as you’d want them to do unto you”? (I might’ve botched up the Golden rule’s specific words, but you get the idea. :P) Sad thing is, I gave and gave and gave everything I had to other people, only to turn around and have them treat me rude, mean, indifferent, and sometimes downright cruel. I always had it in my head that if I treated someone how I’d like them to treat me, it would happen.
Reality check: it ain’t that simple, because people are human. (Now if you want a true representation of the Golden rule, get a dog.)

Now to talk about a sensitive issue. One that I don’t know much about apart from what I’ve read and seen on the news.

***************WARNING***************

The following paragraph contains some things that some may find offensive upon first reading or skimming of it, although that is not my intention. I do not intend to point fingers and am not looking at this through judgmental glasses. I am only putting myself in a different viewpoint and sharing what I discover, infer, or believe.

That being said, I implore anybody who might read this to not judge me too harshly for what I am about to say. As a fair warning, I will tell you I am going to talk about suicide. Again, this IS NOT pointed at anybody.

 

Suicide

Some say suicide is a selfish act because the victim takes themselves away from their loved ones, causing them pain and loss and grief and who knows what other feelings and personal costs. Yet, isn’t their anger and feelings toward the victim selfish as well, wanting that person back for their own sake? Then there’s another aspect of it: Did those people who think the victim was selfish to kill themselves ever reach out of their little life bubble to pay selfless attention to the victim while s/he was still alive? And I mean really try, not just: “Oh hey, how’re you doing?” “Fine.” “You sure?” “Yeah.” “Alright, whatever you say.” It’s so easy to wrap ourselves in our own life bubbles and become ignorant to the fact that not everyone sees life as you do (positively/negatively, happy/dark, etc.). Not because we’re bad people, but because that is how most of humanity works: looking out for number 1.

I’m going to reiterate. I don’t want anyone to think I’m judging those who have known someone who has committed suicide, because I’m not pointing any fingers of blame nor am I implying that they could have changed someone’s mind on the topic, or saved them, if you had done this or said that or anything else. I know that’s not the case and that peoples’ minds are difficult if not impossible forests to wander through. I don’t think suicide is anyone’s fault. What I am trying to do in the above paragraph is put myself in the shoes of the victim, kind of like Blaine Larsen does in his song, “How Do You Get That Lonely?” I’m wondering what leads someone to feel like they have nothing left to live for, as if the world would be better off without them.

~~~~~~~

Okay enough with that heavy stuff. I kind of got off on a tangent without planning on it, but I’ve found that’s how I do my best posts, just writing and letting my thoughts lead my fingers. By best I mean lengthy, deep, descriptive, intense, interesting, intriguing, maybe controversial, etc. etc. I think what got me thinking about the topic of suicide was connecting selfishness to the book I’m reading. A very interesting topic to me because I want to understand people.

I don’t think I quite finished all my thoughts of selfishness, but this’ll do for now. That’s how my mind works: gets off on tangents, connections, new thoughts, and forgets the original idea or point. That’s alright though.

Peace.

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2 comments on “Selfishness vs. the Golden Rule

  1. ‘Become a bitch’ in order to be selfless – and ‘get a dog’ to learn the Golden Rule. Priceless.

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