Most of you must be tired of ‘selfishness’ of surrounding people and started to appreciate solitude.
I always comment everywhere in social media or in messages that the world is selfish- personal experience.
We, human beings are obsessed with success in terms of wealth creation, name, fame, power, positions in society and so on, so forth. We are, from childhood are trained to be successful, at any cost, be ahead of others in every aspect of life, and the process continues till we die. We don’t have the time to look after the poor, the ills, the homeless, the handicaps, the addicts, the underprivileged. We look after ourselves, our family, our happiness, our well beings. My entire life has seen each of these in my surrounding and I hope to see more!! I feel bad- sometimes the feeling disgusts me, but it is not like I don’t feel happy about it -sometimes.
Actually this tug of war between ‘selflessness’ and ‘being selfish’ keeps many sensitive people worried. I am one of them who searches balance between the two to end the war but have no patience.
For instance – take a social system which is prevailing in many countries, that the child must look after his parents in their old age. The social system where the family bindings are very important, respect to elders, affection to younger, duties to be done perfectly and the man himself stops living his life while completing all his duties perfectly! The man does it all selflessly, no doubt, but at the end does a happy man die? Why the parents are not called selfish, why his family is not called selfish? Why the parents close all the doors for his son to flourish, to enjoy his own life in his own way? Why the family searches happiness at the cost of his ‘selflessness’?
This discussion is endless which goes in my mind very often, so I try to remain super active. Let my brain do not feel that laziness to give rise to the controversies. I resort to the spiritualism, read what the saints have said about unselfishness. I bumped into Swami Vivekananda’s preaching and find little solace though my research will not stop here.
His few quotes on unselfishness-
- “Liberalism tries to make us unselfish. But we do not want to be unselfish — we see no immediate gain in unselfishness; we gain more by being selfish. We accept liberalism as long as we are poor, have nothing. The moment we acquire money and power, we turn very conservative. The poor man is a democrat. When he becomes rich, he becomes an aristocrat.”
“Unselfishness is more paying, only people have not the patience to practice it. It is more paying from the point of view of health also. Love, truth and unselfishness are not merely moral figures of speech, but they form our highest ideal, because in them lies such a manifestation of power. In the first place, a man who can work for five days, or even for five minutes, without any selfish motive whatever, without thinking of future, of heaven, of punishment, or anything of the kind, has in him the capacity to become a powerful moral giant.”
I try to understand these quotes. Yes, we must take care of ourselves, physically, mentally and spiritually. We must take care of our own health not to disturb others by falling sick. We must keep ourselves happy by practicing the things which we like. We must do something to please God- who resides in the poor, the sick, the underprivileged. We must follow the path of honesty, truth, tolerance, love, care- the path of purity. We must please ourselves and spend little time to please others. Serving others selflessly brings the immense happiness. We can visit old age homes, orphans, hospitals, take care of street children, take care of homeless people, there are plenty of ways to show ‘unselfishness’. If we all start thinking in the same way, contribute our little effort towards ‘unselfishness’- may be the world will become pure, loving and caring! Let the old active parents join the force to make the world beautiful- resorting to children at old age is not the solution but spreading the happiness among others will find them a place in hearts. Balancing act of ‘Selfishness’ and ‘Selflessness’ is an art. Let us all practice it- the old and the young!