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Selfish People continued

It is interesting that selfishness was condemned in ancient times, and is still condemned today. The paradox is that our materialistic society denounces selfishness while tacitly encouraging it with the constant message to: “get all you can; keep all you can; do as little as you can; take care of number one.” Such double messages legitimize selfishness and make it easy to become enslaved in the grip of greed and covetousness.

 

The sad thing about the selfish individual is that the more he withholds what is justly due others, the more he finds himself in want. Some of the most pathetic people in the world are those who hoard their wealth, whether it be their money, time or talents. These are individuals who are very insecure despite their riches. They have never learned that the more they give, the more they will receive, or that the more they give of themselves to others, the more secure and confident they will become.    

 

Sharing is difficult for some because they believe that unless they have a surplus, they have nothing to share. But, in reality, they are very rich compared to the average person in an impoverished third-world nation, or a homeless child or adult in our country.

 

Many selfish people do not share out of their bounty because their thinking is colored by the few people who are flagrantly lazy or malingering and expect others or society to take care of them. Giving to these individuals only perpetuates their root problem.

 

Regardless of this factor, society expects that we will take care of our families, and if possible, share with others who are less fortunate than ourselves. Selfish people sometimes don’t take care of their families, much less share with others.

 

If selfish people would cultivate a generous spirit they would quickly discover that giving to others is a virtue that builds character and brings pleasure and happiness. In addition, they would soon find themselves feeling at home with others, increasingly sensitive to the needs of others and genuinely concerned about their plight. As they give of themselves, they are no longer controlling in their dealings with others and are less lonely and alone.

 

If you find yourself in the description of a selfish person, or you are aware that others consider you to be selfish, begin to look for ways that you can practice generosity. Explore opportunities that involve giving of your self, your time and your resources. Determine that you are going to defeat the foe of selfishness, and never allow it to wage war on you again. Purpose that if it hungers, you will not feed, and if it thirsts, you will not give it drink.

Remember—the development of sound moral character and virtue always results in emotional well-being and robust mental health.

 

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Lockyear, Herbert C. (1970). The sins of the saints. Neptune, NJ:  Loizeau Brothers, Inc.

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