Selfless or Selfish?

Welcome to Relationship Wednesdays. The topic today is selfish or selfless? The definition of selfless is you just do things, and you have no attachment, no expected outcome, you give of yourself, and there’s absolutely zero agenda. That’s the usual definition. Selfish is, it’s all about me and what I can get from it. That’s the usual definition there as well. I’m going to throw things up in the air here, and create a little bit of a controversy. I believe that every single thing we do, we’re selfish. It might come across as being selfless but here we go. If come at this from a three-points, and I’ll use giving as an example. Actually let’s back that up a little bit.

If I’m employing someone, that’s very much a selfish situation. If I’m the employee, I’m doing this and I expect that back. If I’m the employer, I’m paying you and I’m expecting this level of something done. It’s a very one to one simple relationship. That’s a selfish experience. I’m doing, I’m getting. Employees are same thing. That’s very clear. Where it starts to get a little bit murky is if I’m walking down the street and I give to a street person. To simplify this, if I give a street person a gift certificate to a restaurant as an example, because I don’t want them to use it to buy drugs, or to do other things with the money. I want them to get some food so that they can survive and feel a little bit better. Well, there’s a feel-good in that for me because I’m giving them something. In some ways it’s a little bit selfish. But as well I’m setting a condition on it which means it’s about me. When I set a condition, I’m setting it up, even though I’m giving so it’s a higher form of being selfish, it’s a better form, it’s still selfish. Because I’m setting the conditions, I’m saying, “You have to do this with this to get this, so I can feel this way.”

The third form and this is where I’m going to test you out a little bit here, and I believe that everything is selfish. Now it’s not a bad thing but what happens with the third situation is that I just give a street person money. I have no expectations whether they spend it on drugs or whether they buy food with it. But here’s the piece. Even the most spiritual people in the world appear to be totally selfless however there is a win in it for them. Even if it’s just karma alone, it’s a feel-good. And everything in this world is based on feel-good. Human beings don’t generally do something if it feels horrible. They do it because it feels good. Even when you come from that higher place of, “I’m just going to give a street person some money or I’m going to do some prayer work with someone.” There’s going to be a feel-good. And in that point, there’s still a level of being selfish. And it’s okay, it’s part of life.

Thanks for listening and thanks for hanging in there.

About the Author Patrick Hercus