In order to do things for another person, instead of thinking of how it will benefit YOU, think of how it will benefit THEM as if they were YOU. Sorta like the Golden Rule….
So what do you think ?
What are some ways you battle selfishness?
Is it an obligation to be less selfish?
@Man-of-the-Future, Impossible. This is like saying “jump off a cliff and intend to go up rather than down.” One only jumps off a cliff if one intends to go down.
One only acts for him/herself. One cannot act for another or in another’s behalf or to meet another’s needs. Everyone knows what they want, knows how to get it and jealously guards their freedom to do that. No one needs your help. Get over yourself.
Doing for another is an attempt to humiliate them.
If you are in a war against selfishness, then you are in a war against yourself. Kill yourself and you will win.
Possibly you are only referring “how do I support my identity of being unselfish?” In that case post BS posts lauding yourself as unselfish. Pretend to care about the “less fortunate” by helping them. This is selfishness: to promote oneself as being special by enslaving another to meet these needs. We enslave another by demanding he pretend to be needy so we can pretend to be needed..
Just take care of yourself and never come around my house with that “I am better than you attitude.” I’ll shoot you.
Is it a balance between being prideful and helping your neighbor?
If so, where do we draw the line?
Being too prideful you become “selfish” Vs. Being too liberal you also become “selfish”
I think everyone knows where the line is. It’s different for all of us.
The battle as to which attitude is better, that is a battle that can’t be won because we’re all entitled to thoughts and opinions.
I believe in taking care of yourself first, if you can’t handle yourself then you can’t handle someone else.
I also believe that some deserve a helping hand but honestly we don’t know who really needs the hand because some will take advantage.
I am content sitting on the fence, because either way I lean I know I’m doing the right thing. And so do you.
Buddhism’s core fundamental’s is on compassion and doing for other’s. In the Buddha’s past life he read the mind of a Tiger that was hungry and was about to eat it’s cups, so he gave his life in selflessness ( I don’t advise this haha). You bring up a good point though on how you could battle selfishness. In philosophy they describe as giving to the poor as a selfish act because in essence it makes you feel good like your doing the right thing. If you were to dig even deeper, if you completely 100% humble, isn’t that still selfish? Here is one of the most selfless things I’ve done in my blog if you are interested. In the end could you argue it is still selfish though? I’d like to know your thoughts
@adamm0ss, you do have a point. Although it was phrased “here is one of the most selfless things I’ve done in my blog if you are interested.” I’d thought I’d share, which is a selfless act. At the same time you responding could be selfish since you are in the interest of your views. I guess we both are haha. It goes to show no matter the situation it can always be viewed as selfless or selfish.
I was a firefighter for 12 years. I believed then, that in my chosen career – I was inherently and actively being self-less: thinking of others before I did myself. WRONG. It was so self-serving. Even now, every aspect of my work in disaster relief, mass-care, environmental food supply sustainability, etc…all efforts of humanitarian advocacy, activism, and altruism are still self-serving. Why? Because it is WHAT I WANT to do.
By contrast, “Selfless” is by definition – “having, exhibiting, or being motivated by no concern for oneself; unselfish. Making a SACRIFICE without regard for oneself”. As a do-gooder, I negate my own potential for selflessness…As I depend on selfish motive to sustain my own interests and aspirations.
Brendan, I enjoyed your insight very much.
I am a very reserved person, I tend to keep my love life private. But we are alike in more ways than one.
I struggle with “The Battle” everyday. All you want is that person to be happy and in return we should be happy too. (“Give and you shall receive”)
They say life is full of ups and downs then again so is love. How do you distinguish the difference? Between trying to live life and letting her go. Which one is getting you down?
I hear this all the time: “Don’t be a sissy, just get over it”. To me those people really don’t get love because if that person really meant something you don’t “just get over it”.
Like and Love are completely different to me. I like people. I love only one. (Family doesn’t count in this particular instance because thats a given)
We all know what it’s like to be “up”. When you’re down, now that’s a true testament to one’s character. How did you deal with the d-word?
When I open up I’m always afraid as to what the public thinks because again I like people. Hate only gets me down. I’m not motivated by hate. I have no problem with people motivated by hate though..”you go ahead and prove them wrong”.
And so here I am unselfish, compassionate and unfiltered. My sacrifice.
Greed is holding on desperately to a delusion. Selfishness is a natural manifestation, burn the house down and enlighten the “self”.
@Man-of-the-Future, You’re welcome and thank you!
And LOL, yeah I’m not sure threatening to shoot someone is very effective or professional.
Although he has a valid opinion, threats like that are out of line especially in today’s society or in any society for that matter.
@Man-of-the-Future, I don’t like the idea of transference in this sense. I believe in considerate behavior strait up because of what I can get out of it.
When you are considerate you make more friends and less enemies, people become more likely to help you in return or at least not interfere with you. When others are in a more balanced situation, they then become more capable of effecting the world around them in more beneficial ways.
I am not talking about making others more powerful, but when they have what they need to strike a rounded psychological balance they become more efficient and productive, especially if in concert with an understanding of this same principle, they will then focus on helping create greater balance where they are empowered to do so.
I think oftentimes we misunderstand love and selfishness. Love is about true and your Real Self, and selfishness is about ego.
When you take care of yourself in a non-ego way, you love yourself and you are able to provide yourself with everything. You make yourself happy by enjoying your life and perceiving love everywhere, you recognize your essence is love and you are happy to experience life and share that experience with others. You feel conected.
Selfishness is always accompained by ego. When you are selfish you don’t recognize your real You , you crave for other’s love because you are not able to see, and know, that all the love you need is inside you. So you need to make other love you, you act like they want you to act to “proove” you are love worthy. You feel afraid of not being loved so you need to pretend you are someone else. As you don’t know you are enough for yourself, yo look for others to make you feel fine, you just relate to them to get some love out of there. The reason why you don’t recognize beauty outside, you feel isolated and in a constant competition wiht the world, is that you just don’t recognize your true self, you are not aware of what you are (you are love and life), so you just can’t recognize the same nature in other living beings, or space.
So, in my advice, i woul say that the best way to being unselfish is loving yourserl, and recognizing you as a deep source of love. Then, you’ll be abel to share your love with others, and not expecting them to do the same thing, you just love them, and that love nourihes you.
Another good thing to do is to empathize with others, so you can feel like they feel and then get to know what they can be needing or wanting, or just to have a glimpse of their personal paradigm.
Love conects us, ego separates us: fist from ourselves (my real Me), and them from others.
Yes, when you really love someone you sacrifice yourself towards the other’s well-being, this means you look for getting things right and being careful with them, you look for the otherone and willing sacrifice any of your egos for the other’s beneffit. Just as you love yourself and care about your REAL wellness, so you willingly sacrifice your bad habits and harmful bahavior patterns to feel better and live completely full.
This is what i think…
I feel there is a need to be selflessly selfish. If you live to please others, you have lived a life unfulfilled. If you live to please yourself, you have lived a life that was worthy of your effort. If you live to please yourself, while pleasing others from time to time along the way (Not everyone, mind you. Don’t be a ‘yes’ guy or a ‘nice guy’) then you have lived well enough.
People have an idea that being selfish is heartless way to look at life, then you have people who believe the selfless are naive. I think the answer is in seeing the selfish gains from being selfless.
You still need to strike a balance between how much you help yourself and how much you help others, that is a judgement call that you can only do your best in assessing, but over all it comes down to your own psychological balance and if you think you have been fair with your decisions.
You said it is possible for you to benefit me? How exactly can you benefit me? I cannot benefit you because you do not need me, I have nothing to offer you, you are not broken, you are not in need, I am not better than you.
How, again, can you benefit me?
@HowardHolmes, he just can’t benefit you if you just don’t give up your pride and learn to receive, learn to learn from others. how do you think you survived your childhood? alone? i don’t think so… whith others help, with your parent’s love… maybe you are afraid to get hurt and that’s why you’ve come to conceive life as a selfish competition… just let you feel love :)
|| Doing for another is an attempt to humiliate them. ||
this is you ego talking, when i go out of my way for someone i don’t do so to make them feel less about themselves, this only happens if they chose to perceive ‘help’ this way, all of us need help at some point, to not accept or to feel inferior is only in the mind of the person thinking it.
@Man-of-the-Future, In the Upanishads they talk much of “the Self” (with a capital S). I think this is a great translation into English. The Self that they refer to in these texts is not a separate entity, totally disconnected from the world, but it is instead a self without division. They say when you realize the Self, you lose your self (little s), like water being poured into water, and see that in helping others you are helping the whole and therefore helping yourself (even if you don’t realize it).
I survived my childhood the same way you survived yours–trying to survive in spite of my parents attempt to enslave me. I began as a zygote in a uterus. I needed food. Who provided that food? Me. I found the uterine wall and had the capability and intelligence to tap into it. I sucked on the mother for nine months and grew all by myself. When I needed more space I turned myself head downward and and sent brain signals and secreted hormones that allowed me to birth myself.
Once, in the open world, I knew where to find milk and how to get it. If it was not there when I wanted, I raised holy hell forcing it to come to me. An so it goes. My parents never cared for me and yours don’t care for you. Mom gave milk because the breast was swollen and painful, milk was dripping from the teet onto the clothes and the thing in the crib was raising holy hell.
I am not indictiing parents. I had three kids myself. I had them to be something I own to satisfy my needs for lauding and praise and identity. Not a problem. I obviously wanted lauding and praise, but I will not lie to my kids and pretend I did it for their benefit.
I did not make myself selfish. You did not make yourself selfish. This is just the only way this thing called life can work. I do not want you interfering in my life. I can take care of myself. If I respect you, I feel the same way about. If someone tells you they care for you, or if someone attempts to “help” you then you feel humiliated. Please don’t tell me you do not know what I mean.
It appears you are going out of your way in the post to avoid why you are helping this person, what it is in you that allows them to be seen as in need of you. Yes, feeling inferior is in the mind and so is feeling inferior. How would you describe the feeling that others are not capable of knowing what they want and providing for those wants? If you would dare, when specifically have you failed to know what you want and not know how to get it? When were you needy and incapable.
helping another is not always ‘telling them what to do’, helping another could be as simple as recognizing that someone needs you to listen to them, or just being kind to all you meet, both of these are enough to change a perspective for the better, to impact them and change their day,
recognizing the needs of others requires empathy, the ability to place yourself in the shoes of another, describing this awareness without understanding empathy is a waste of time because you will always be searching for the ulterior motive within the action, when there is none.
your responses demonstrates your ability to consider others, there are mental anchors that indicate this in the way you respond to the subject, i can see this from your words
the question i have for you is, why, if you have the ability to help someone, would you not?
why would you ignore others if fully capable of doing something to better their existence?
the way i see it, if they don’t want help or kindness, that’s fine, i do not impose myself on others because i think i know better, its a take it or leave it kinda thing