It has been used as a negative word since forever but the problem with such words is that they there is no set boundary for such words!
Consent on the other hand is the word most misinterpreted by human beings. Sometimes you just want to be with yourself and you don’t go out with your friends but then you get the tag of ‘selfish’. It doesn’t matter if you are going through some emotional dis-balance or your consent doesn’t allow you to go outside, at last you have to feel guilty in case you don’t conform to the society.
Going through this moral dilemma, I sought philosophical advice through watching some of the lectures of Harvard University’s Justice with Michael Sandel. He talked about different school of thoughts like utilitarian view about overall utility i.e. accept things which are making more people happy. Although I appreciated the series but I couldn’t find my answer.I was the opposite of selfish. My own personal happiness came last every time. I thought if I could make everyone else happy it would make me happy.
But, that’s not how it works. I tried.
Why we feel awkward when we ask some friend for help but were not in touch with them from long? Is it possible to be in touch with every person you know? No, right! Again in Indian society we learn to share food but what if I don’t want to. Joey (from F.R.I.E.N.D.S.)doesn’t share food then he is cute but if I don’t share food, I am ‘Selfish’.
What I’ve come to learn is this — In order to be the best version of myself. I HAVE to come first. If you’re not selfish, you’re selfish. Selfish in that you’ve chosen to not fully show up in the world.Be more selfish. Selfish because you’ve actively chosen to not choose yourself. Selfish because the people around you never actually get to see the real you.
One can’t possibly make everyone happy and hence I choose to be selfish rather than being unhappy all the time. I don’t want to feel guilty all the time and for my own peace of mind, I will consider selfish as ‘Self-loving’ which is a good thing!
Someone please change the definition of ‘Being Selfish’!