This week, I have had so many conversations about power and the abuse of power. I started doing a little reading, and I ran across the article linked below. I thought about the terms selfish vs. selfless. Now, Dictionary.com states that selfish describes someone who is solely concerned about their own well-being and care WITHOUT regard for others. Selfless was defined as having little concern for yourself while looking out for others. Now, when I considered the literal meaning of both words, I would not want to be considered, totally, one or the other.
Sheena Amin, contributing author for Huffington Post, made a great point. We will quickly jump on the negative for either, but we need a balance of both. One key point I pulled from her article was the idea that (some of us) find joy in service to others. Personally, it pulls out the human in me. The connections you feel to the work you’re doing, observing the impact you have on others, and the warm fuzzies that come from knowing, just for today, I made a difference, makes it all worth it. Now, tomorrow, I may still binge watch YouTube videos and not answer my phone. Don’t get me wrong, some people refuse to engage in service to others. Does that make them selfish? No, I don’t think so. The problems come in when we attempt to inject our opinions on someone else.
What do I mean? Well, I enjoy community service. So, whenever I can, I volunteer. Some may have challenges that prevent them from doing what I do. We must also consider that everyone is not at the same place and stage in life where that matters to them. Let’s look at the words I brought up, selfish and selfless. Do we automatically assume a person is selfish if they don’t help an elderly woman across the street or walk through a door without holding it for someone else? Sometimes. Is a person that serves in a soup kitchen considered selfless because they volunteer time they could have gone to the beach or taken a nap? Maybe.
I watched a great YouTube video that put the whole concept into perspective. Why do we consider most things in terms of all or nothing? I agree that you can be both and still be a great human being. Think outside the box. There is nothing wrong with assisting others, working towards your goals, finding time to just live in the moment, and being okay with all of it. Just a thought.
Until next time,