Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Selfishness - A Matter of Perspective!!

Selfishness - one virtue that is inherent in all humanbeings. When I mean all, it includes greats like Gandhi, Mother Teresa etc. Every man (or woman) is selfish in his/her own way. However, how selfish and the reasons behind selfishness is what differentiates probably the bad, good and the great.
A question might arise that categorization of selfishness (into good, bad and the great) is absolute nonsense. Selfishness is something very emotional, it is not a market survey to be categorised - some might argue. However, my plain argument to that is if the highest forms of knowledge (encompassing description about the Supreme Power to the most emotional of thoughts), the Vedas - can be categorized into different volumes, based on the subject, depth and understanding, so can emotional matters like selfishness.
Keeping categorization aside for a moment, the question arises as to why people tend to be selfish. When I asked this question in various forms to friends of mine - I got one universal answer - though not necessarily in the same form - I want to be happy and hence I tend to be selfish. If selfishness is what it is usually portrayed to be, which is evil, then is being Happy a crime? As is the case with black or white - there is no little selfishness and extreme selfishness (and don't get me started on the gray area - a topic of total jibberish) - a person is selfish or he is not - and we see the case across, everyone is/was selfish at some point or another.
Interesting arguments arise out of daily life. I have faced the ire of my close friends in instances where I have been selfish - however, when I point out their selfishness at a different point of time and question them, I get seemingly baseless or escapist answers. This is common across organisations, family, friends and at every instance of daily life. What seems right to you, which can make you happy seems wrong to the other person and vice-versa - as I mentioned earlier, it is a matter of perspective again.
Great people like Mother Teresa and the Mahatma were selfish in their own way - very selfish - they wanted freedom for their country and liberation for their people respectively. I have used 'their' very deliberately - a word which distinguishes the bad/good from the great. The Greats use 'their' and 'our' as selfish motives while people like me use 'I' to keep myself happy. The worrying factor at present and probably in the future is the hedonistic feeling that is creeping in everyone's thought process - I live my life, I want to be happy, why should anyone care or be bothered - which actually affects others in a miserable manner. How we deal and differentiate between hedonism and what we term to be 'happy' is a question only the individual can answer, least of all others' perspectives.

1 comment:

Manasa said...

A very nice blog.. but I think it was left incomplete.

Seemed more like the ending of Pirates of Carribean- Dead Man's Chest!
:)