When looked up in the dictionary selfishness has a derogatory meaning the opposite being generosity. However what happens when you have nothing to give? The only way to further yourself is by thinking of yourself and only yourself or you will always be in a neutral position. Therefore you must be selfish to get to that generous place.
I come from a close nit Hispanic family where we stay together no matter what. In their eyes I am the most selfish person in the world. What have I done to receive such a title? I decided to leave my mothers home and move in with my “heathen” father and his girlfriend.
When I was twelve I came of age to choose who I wanted to live with. To me this meant choose between your stable irreligious father or your state/ country wandering zealous mother. This decision was an easy one for me considering I was going into eight grade and had never been to a slumber party or had a best friend my whole life because it was ‘dangerous’ to sleep at someone else’s house if there was a man present or because “God” saw it fit for us to move yet again. I think the record was three middle schools in one year.
My father’s motto has always been “do what makes you happy” (as long as it’s healthy). When my sisters call I still hear an occasional “all you do is think of yourself” or “your selfish.” and all I can think of is yeah but I’m happy. I believe that in the long run I’m doing what’s best for my future and if that’s selfishness then maybe every person should be that way.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.