This I Believe

Marlene - Honolulu, Hawaii
Entered on April 17, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
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“Selfishness Is The Highest Form Of Cooperation”

My beloved and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary this year: a truth filled, celebratory testament to our discovery and actual practice with belief systems and personal actions that work! Further, we actually feel and act as if we are still on our honeymoon! We truly consider it a pure privilege to be allowed to love someone else, let alone be loved by them.

Truth is, none of us really “need” to be in a relationship. We all have learned that a person can function without one. That said, one must be clear in thought, word and deed within a relationship, with no mixed messages or surprises later when considering a life mate. Life has a way of delivering its own challenges.

It is true that everyone thinks they know how to cooperate!

Early into those first days of dating, when beloved and I looked around and witnessed how some couples could misbehave in their treatment of each other, plus acknowledging the statistics for divorce rates in this country, we intuitively knew somehow, something about their actions together and their individual consequential understanding with “cooperation” together was missing!

What could we learn? What could we do?

It was then that we decided to pretend neither of us understood what the word “cooperation” meant, in any thought form, word or deed. Two weeks into dating, we decided we would commit ourselves to the literal study of “The Meaning Of Cooperation! Consciously, just as other couples do activities together, including but not limited to, family events, sports, movies, dining out, and the like, we committed our studying together as a thing we would do as a couple. (Note: We still continue this couple study to this date!)

Its been an incredible, interesting journey together: researching and discussing “cooperation” all these years. Of course, on our quest, it was not the research per se that was so important. Importance lay in discovering ways of cooperating together that could be implemented into our daily lives!

What did we learn from study? What became our relationship motto?

“Selfishness Is The Highest Form Of Cooperation!”

Very basically this means, “If you do only that which makes you personally content, fulfilled and successful as a person … we all bask in your sunshine! If, on the other hand, you do that which doesn’t make you content, fulfilled and successful as a person … we all “pay,” more importantly you!

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is extremely important for all to not confuse the word “selfish” with “self-centered.” ANYONE who functions from this point is only and purely indulgent and self-serving. These inappropriate, unhappy individuals erroneously believe the world only revolves around them, and usually function like the world owes them a living! More often than not, their actions demonstrate what they believe is their entitlement to everyone and anything! This is completely and totally “NOT ALLOWED BEHAVIOR!” For everyone. For any reason.

Some of our motto definitions follow here:

• Selfishness makes an individual responsible, not others, for having their needs, wants and desires met.

• Selfishness has no longer the need to wish, hope, or dream that someone will take care [of me,] It is my responsibility to do so.

• Selfishness can act with others without concern about who is taking care of [my] best interests. It is my responsibility to do so.

• Selfishness is willing and ready to work. [I do] not require attention, entanglements or drama to be alive and interesting.

• Selfishness can replenish [myself] so that other people or situations may not deplete me in any way. I am responsible for my own mental and physical health care.

• Selfishness is the foundation of [my] own healthy self-esteem.

• Selfishness takes care of [myself], without finding emptiness, dislike, blame, hate, anger or resentment.

• Selfishness understands that it is not [my] right or job to change any one else, or request that they do so for or on my behalf.

• Selfishness receives willingly and deservedly [as I] recognize the joy of giving comes from an inner knowledge of my worth, allowing my choice of generosity to come from my own personal decision.

• Selfishness brings right-mindedness, respect, and purpose, preventing any personal thoughts, words or actions from becoming or behaving like a martyr which breeds guilt, pity, and contempt. Martyrdom, in any form, by me or others is not [my] life.

• Selfishness perceives correctly, preventing the need to look outside for protection. Protection only comes from personal strength and courage within.

• Selfishness honors [one’s] own choices, lending one’s mind, words, and actions to be free from comparison or contest with others.

• Selfishness embraces each human being’s right to make their own individual decisions; to be their own free agent, reaching attainment toward their own personal best.

• Selfishness acts judiciously, preventing blame and injustice.

• Selfishness is peaceful thinking and living, preventing unrealistic dreams of a utopia that seems that will “arrive someday.” Correct living is now.

• Selfishness does not presume to correctly understand another and does not mind read, second guess, or “play games.” Coexistent points-of-view does not mean that another must agree, accept or even acknowledge my own reality. Each person is honored by trusting [them] to do what is correct, even when seeming or appearing misunderstood, misinterpreted, or not in agreement.

• Selfishness understands one must respect others as separate from them, responsible individuals who deserve their own best life.

• Selfishness can be entrusted to attend to the well-being of others by choice.

• Selfishness finds happiness in the success of others.

• Selfishness embraces the human experience with empathy. We all can encourage and celebrate each human condition. Everyone has loss someone or some thing. Everyone has gained someone or some thing. Without understanding ourselves, our truthful experiences as our own realities, as responsible and individual human beings may make it impossible to “stand in another’s shoes” without first standing in our own! Truth is everything!


“Am I a person I would want to marry?”

Be able to answer “yes” to that question.

After all, it is only fair!