Be selfish, here’s why
Greetings, Many of you may know me, many of you may not. If I have to introduce myself I would say I’m a student. Student of many branches. Political Science is one of them. In political science, we study various political thinkers, one of them is Niccolo Machiavelli. Another one, with whom my friends in the west might not be familiar with, is Kautilya Chanakya. They are both considered to be hyper-realists, who reached the epitome of realism. I have recently started reading the Arthashastra of Chanakya. A few months back I completed The Prince of the Machiavelli. Today I am going to make some assertions with the logic of realism that you must be pondered if you are in some kind of situational dilemma.
Why should you be selfish in your life? One might argue that being a good man/woman makes them feel like they are following the path of spirituality or some greater path of mental peace. This might be even true for a few of you but what is the parameter to decide what path is a path of mental peace, no one can identify as such. Many of us have faced situations when we feel that by doing something we might disturb someone else’s situation. Your mind is filled with thoughts of many possibilities, and during this time we often make decisions that could be feasible to the other person but put you in a difficult position. This is not your fault we have grown up in a society that teaches us to help everyone, even at your loss. Kautilya differs here, he says, “A wise man makes self-protection his first and constant concern”. He argues that one should always make a decision that is favorable to oneself, irrespective of conditions. Machiavelli argues that “Men are so simple and yield so readily to the desires of the moment that he who will trick will always find another who will suffer to be tricked”. You will always find people in life who are looking for an opportunity to trick you, Machiavelli argued that it is not their fault to trick you, but it is your fault to be tricked.
Life is very simple, problems arise when we make it complicated. When you have to do something just do it, it does not matter how many people you put in a disadvantageous situation. Ends justify the means. Of Course, we are living in a modern democratic society. The means should be legal always and everywhere, but not necessarily should have to be moral and ethical every time. If something is legal and not moral or ethical and you think by doing it you’ll get your way; just do it. If you think by taking some steps, you will get a big promotion in office, do it, it does not matter if by doing so your colleagues will suffer a salary reduction. You’re not there to make everyone happy, you are there to make money so you and your family can live a good life, if you won’t take the opportunity someone else will. So be selfish for yourself and your family. Always remember Ends Justify the Means.
Whether we like it or not, deception has become a reality of this world. We must adapt ourselves to the new norms of society. World is cruel, in this new world ethics and morality are only good in books. Be a lion and a fox, study Kautilya and Machiavelli, use deception when necessary, and be selfish for yourself.
Some people are there who endorse idealism and will say that these all are just bullshit and the world is full of good people. Of course, there are few good people, but be skeptical of everyone around you, you never know from which direction a sword will come. We should not try to figure out how world should be, but rather accept and deal with the world as it literally is. In life you cannot please everyone, just do things that helps you to achieve your aims, no matters what the means are, your ends will justify it; as long as it is legal. I am not saying to live an isolated life; but as US Marine General James Mattis puts it, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet”, for self defense purposes.