This I Believe

Eric - manhasset, New York
Entered on October 10, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that nearly every man, woman, and child, are narcissistic by nature. People will almost always regard themselves before strangers and will always have greater feelings towards people similar to themselves. I came to this realization when trying to discover why I love and care so deeply for my niece Olivia.

I never truly understood why I love my niece more than everything else in the world until I was asked to write a paper about her. When writing this paper, I discovered that the reason why I have such deep feelings for my niece and also why parents have such strong feelings towards their children is because they remind us so much of ourselves. Olivia has both my fantastic taste in music and my ultra superior intellect.

Although it’s quite rare to find someone with a sense of music as great as mine, Olivia’s taste in music is very close and similar. While Olivia does love some songs written for the typical toddler, such as the works of the great Laurie Berkner and the Wonder Pets, our favorite musician is Bob Marley. Also, Olivia will sit with me while I’m listening to classic rock and try to sing and play along with her miniature red guitar. Because Olivia and I have the same taste in music, I get reminded of myself when I look at her which enables me to incorporate the love I have for myself into love for her.

Olivia and I are also both abnormally intelligent. While I attend one of the top twenty universities in America, Olivia can sing over twenty different songs, recite the alphabet, count to fourteen, and pee in a potty. Unfortunately, a large number of people my age can’t do half of the things that my two and a half year old niece can do. Having a great intelligence in common with my niece also allows me to see more of myself in Olivia, which makes me love her more because I love myself so much.

One may argue that people aren’t self-centered because opposites attract and many people fall in love with people very different from themselves. I know from past relationships, however, that opposites hardly ever attract for more than two months. There usually comes a point in most relationships when couples realize that a relationship without similarities is a relationship without love. Some may also argue that my belief is morally wrong and coldhearted because people are supposed to be benevolent and selfless. Although this may be true, the best way to help others is to actually think about yourself and your own self interests. In fact, the great economist Adam Smith once said, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self interests”. Though it may seem wrong, the truth of the matter is that our society functions because people are self-absorbed by nature.