Is being selfish really bad?

Disclaimer: Make sure to go through the reading guide before proceeding ahead.


We have been told by society that don’t be selfish. Being selfish is bad.

But is society really speaking the truth?

Or is it incomplete truth or something else?

In order to decipher it, we will need to first understand what being selfish means.

Selfish is simple words means thinking about the well being of oneself.

Is there anything wrong with considering the wellbeing of yourself?

Let’s consider the following story –

selfish There were once 2 good friends Anthony & Gonsalves.

They have known each other since they were small kids. They used to play together, go to school together. They both loved playing football.

On the occasion of the 25th  birthday of Anthony, they both travel to Spain to participate in the bull race.  However as it turns out our Gonsalves isn’t that fast a runner and is about to be hit by a bull, but our dear Anthony being heroic jumps & pushes Gonsalves aside. Gonsalves is safe but Anthony falls in front of bulls and his legs were crushed by the bulls. After doctors examination, it was determined that Anthony won’t be able to walk ever and his legs have to be cut.{Situation 1}

Well, what do you think might happen next?

Anthony will be celebrated as a hero. Praised by everyone. Well if the cinema was telling this story they would have told the above part but what they don’t tell you is the actual aftermath.

The Aftermath:

Anthony is celebrated as a hero in his neighbourhood for a week, but then the thrill fades. A crippled Anthony faces various problems in performing his day to day activities viz bathing, toilet, etc. He even had to give up his dream of being a footballer. Gonsalves frequently visits him but his frequency also decreases over time. Anthony has become dependent on his family.

We live in a society where it teaches us to neglect self & put others before self.

Whether its right or wrong you determine?

But why does society determine being selfish is bad? (Think)

The answer is that society considers one extreme situation that is the person will harm others for one’s benefit.

How would it turn out in our story – Both are Anthony and Gonsalves are at the mercy of bulls. And Anthony realizes that in order to save him he should create a distraction by throwing his red cloth on Gonsalves and tripping him over to create a distraction and escape. {Situation 2}

Aye, this would be wrong.

Well, what we are told about is that it’s not possible to think about one’s benefit without harming others. The possibility of thinking about one’s well being is without harming others is often ignored.

The 3rd situation

While in a bull race at the mercy of bulls Anthony first jumps towards his side of the lane while throwing red cloth in the centre – saving himself. And then instructs his friend to act in a similar way to jump on the later side, thus both are harmless. {Situation 3)

(Note: In a bull race, bulls prefer to run in the centre of the lane and are attracted to red colour. Moving toward the closest side is one way to escape them. Refer to youtube for more details)

Being selfish isn’t bad but harming other is bad whether or not you are being selfish.

What is needed is a balance.

You can be selfish without harming others and then be kind
We’ve been taught an outside – inside approach

When it should have been an inside-outside approach.

Great things always begin from inside.

Well whether you wanna be a situation 1st,2nd or 3rd Anthony it’s up to you?