One versus billions

Michael - Monument, Colorado
Entered on May 9, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

One versus billions

I believe in the power of an individual. I believe in the idea that the individual means more than the majority, that they mean more than the “common good.” The power of each persons rights, ethics, and selfish rights. I believe that each person has a right to achieve their own selfish desires, without being forced into servitude by the masses of society. That each person has the complete and moral right to choose their own path, without being subjected to anyone else’s ideas of what is more correct for them to do. I believe in the right to serve yourself, and yourself first before anyone else.

The idea of serving yourself first brings up many conflicting ideas in people. Isn’t that selfish? Isn’t being selfish wrong? The answers are yes and no respectively. Serving yourself is selfish, but caring for yourself first above others is not immoral in any way. Each person alive is selfish, we all have needs and desires that can only be fulfilled by pursuing selfish endeavors. Is obtaining those needs and desires wrong? Is it wrong to work for your own living to feed yourself and those you care for? Is it wrong to enjoy the fruits of your own labor? No, of course not, unless you believe that the very requirements of living are evil. Those desires, needs, and dreams can only be fulfilled by being selfish, or acting in a selfish manner.

But what exactly is selfishness? Selfishness, despite the current dictionaries definition, is better described as rational self interest. Meaning that you will put yourself first, without destroying the lives of others in order to obtain your desires, that you will focus on yourself without impeding the rights of others. Doing so would simply be taking another persons right to be rationally self interested, and would make you nothing more than a common bully.

The individual, throughout history, has been of the most revered and most hated subjects, particularly in Western culture. They are loved for the inspiration they bring, their power to achieve, and the concept that one person can stand against an army and win. But they are also hated because of those very same things. A mass of envious, mediocre people will often be more than happy to destroy one person because they have achieved more than in their lifetime than that entire mass combined. They will be more than happy to say “What right does this one person have to obtain more than us? I didn’t get a fair chance! I want my share!” The only problem is those masses of people, who demand their share of another’s work, do not deserve it. They lack the talent, motivation, and power to achieve the same greatness that one person is capable of doing.

The greatest philosopher who ever lived, Ayn Rand, once said, “I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” That idea, that concept, I most certainly believe.