In a previous post we broke down the definition of selfish and how it is ridiculously misguided. Typically, when people discuss selfishness it is considered to be a negative trait of a particular person. This is untrue.
Humans are made to survive. We evolve. With that we need to do things in order to survive and evolve. We are internally programed to be selfish. Similar how we are programmed to eat when we are hungry or sleep when we are tired. We do things that make us feel good and those things are selfish. In society people think that doing charity work is selfless, but doing charity work (whether it is shared on social media or not) makes someone feel good they are helping the community – it is inherently selfish.
Literally (the true definition of the word) everything we do is selfish because everything we do results in us feeling one way or another. If we do not get the return we like then we change or pursue self-improvement in order change and get a result we want. This is selfishness.
Just because someone sacrifices their own needs for someone else does not make them selfless. Someone can be selfish and considerate. Someone selfish and inconsiderate. Everyone you have ever met in your entire life is/was selfish. We all have a drive to do things that make us feel good. Instead of being characterized by that drive we should be judged by what we do with that drive.
The concept of selfishness is very complex. We need to better understand the concept and its complexity in order to act accordingly. In the previous post I used real life examples of how we use our misguided definition of the word “selfish” to label certain acts as selfless/selfish when they are actually not.
There are certain severities in those acts that we should be able to point out. The person giving someone the right of way, while it can be annoying, is not that big of a deal and does not severely, negatively effect society. A parent (or anyone) guilting another person into doing something by shaming them and calling them selfish is something we need to acknowledge as being completely unacceptable.