Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post: New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020
This is the first post from author and poet Balroop Singh and this week she explores selfishness in all its complexity and also invites you to weigh in with your views.
Are We Selfish?
Are we selfish? When this question crops up in my mind, I try to seek an answer within myself first. Am I selfless? After much thinking and admonishing myself, I try to extract an honest answer out of my evasive mind…
“Well, we all have selfish tendencies – it is only human,” my inner voice whispers.
At times I might have offered my services, done something good for others, without expecting anything in return. Is that enough?
I have given unconditional love to my children and family but another question confronts me…”doesn’t everybody do that?”
‘No, everybody doesn’t do that’, says my friend.
Why are children abandoned, abused, killed? Many of them grow up in acute neglect.
So I went on to search…what exactly is selfishness? While it was so confusing and mind boggling, two definitions appealed to me:
According to Wikipedia: “Selfishness is placing concern with oneself or one’s own interests above the well-being or interests of others.”
According to Oscar Wilde: “Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”
I again asked myself: Do I fit in here? I have never placed ‘my interest’ above but my inner voice slowly speaks: “sometimes, you have!”
I ignore that voice and tell myself: I have never asked others to live according to my wishes. But these arguments didn’t melt my doubts.
Why did I choose only these definitions? Because they suit me?
This reminds me of a woman who gave up her successful career to look after her ailing husband. She was applauded by everybody and was called selfless, but she admitted that she was selfish because she had placed her own concern over and above anything else.
“A selfless act out of even the purest desire to do for others, will be selfish in the satisfaction and happiness it brings to one doing it.”―Ashly Lorenzana
My friend thinks falling in love is also selfish! Isn’t that absurd? How can the basic human emotion make us selfish?
When I try to analyze further, I agree with the reasoning: Love makes people selfish. It crosses all boundaries, it transcends all values and it drags them away into their own world.
“Love is the most selfish of all the passions,” said Alexandre Dumas.
I ponder further…
Even those who work for the welfare of others are selfish as they have their own goals in mind… perhaps they want fame, power, self-fulfillment or are eager to record their names in the pages of history.
So I realized that:
- Selfishness can be defined according to one’s own perspective.
- Selfish traits are inherent.
- Self- interest takes us closer to our goals.
- Selflessness doesn’t bring any rewards.
- Sacrifices are mocked at in today’s world.
- The more you acquire, more selfish you become, whether in terms of money or knowledge.
- Selfish people are actually weak, insecure and unhappy.
Let’s look within:
- Are you kind and considerate?
- Are you tolerant?
- Do you listen to others?
- Do you really understand the feelings of others?
- Do you respect the opinion of others?
I know we all nod to the above questions without giving a profound and honest thought to them. I also hope these questions will keep guiding us toward better understanding and enhancing our personality.
If selfishness hurts you, don’t forget it hurts others too. A little concern for people around us makes us emotionally balanced and less selfish.
Have you come across selfish people? Do you have a different understanding of selfishness? It’s your turn to share your valuable opinion.
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© Balroop Singh
This is Balroop Singh’s most recent poetry collection Moments We Love
About the collection
Moments of fragrant love that stand frozen in time, of dreams that dare not unfold, of passion that fleets by, of erratic joy that we meet at the crossroads of life, butterflies of time that add color to our dark moments to scare the demons away – I have gathered all of them in this book. Some of them whisper softly to create a magical aura while spring of life sings with them, trying to wipe silent tears. Mother Nature steps in with all her grandeur to breath quiet messages of tranquility.
Each poem would soothe your emotions with élan and add a dash of color to your life. Life – that doesn’t halt for your sad moments; that just floats by. You just need to dive in to soak in myriads of moments to discover how it could ignite positive tones. All the poems in this collection are imaginary but inspired from people around me, some of whom chose to share their frustrations and tremors with me. Sometimes I could read between the lines to pen my thoughts down.
Memories and moments merge here
Today when I return to share
The glow of rainbows
Embers of emotional entreaties
And smoldering debris.
One of the recent reviews for the collection
I was delighted to receive this book as a gift, as it had been on my to-be-purchased and read list for some time. “Moments We Love,” is a delightful collection of free verse and rhyming poetry dedicated to a subject dear to all of our hearts – love.
From the first page onward, I discovered that Singh’s poetry dealt with a wide range of human emotions, all drawing upon her astute observations of the human condition.
The collection lead me through the distinct categories of love beginning with young love and progressing into a more mature form of love, moving into memories of love, and even touching on the subject of forbidden love. By the end of the book, I was faced with the loss of love.
Several poems stood out to me: “Do You Remember?” a poem that touched on the memories of young love which left me filled with evocative mental images from days long ago.
The poem, “Isolated Child,” touched me deeply, reminding me of my own journey and how far I’ve come. My response to this poem is the essence of this book. Readers will find this poetic compilation a contemplation of their own journey in and out of love.
I’ve read several of this author’s poetic works. I find her prose and poetry down to earth and atmospheric. She marches to her own personal sense of rhythm and rhyme, making her verses something to treasure for the poetry lover in us all.
Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon US
And: Amazon UK
Also by Balroop Singh
Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US
and : Amazon UK
Read more reviews and follow Balroop on: Goodreads
About Balroop Singh
Balroop Singh, a former teacher, an educationalist, a blogger, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart.
She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in Danville, California.
Connect to Balroop Singh.
My thanks to Balroop for sharing this post with us and I know that she would love your views on the subject of selfishness….