Selfish and selfless acts of cleanliness

As far as I remember I have always been a germophobe. Germophobe is a person who is obsessed with fear of germs and thus obsessed with cleanliness. Its not easy to be a germophobe and its even more difficult those who have to live around one.

Being a germophobe has caused a lot of stress in my life but consciously suppressing my urge to be clean has caused even more stress. So, I have reconciled with my cleanliness routine and those around me have also adjusted to the same. Life is good until I have to be around someone who does not follow my understanding of cleanliness especially the selfless kind of cleanliness. I will explain the selfish and selfless kind of cleanliness in the following section.

Selfish cleanliness:

This type of cleanliness is practiced keeping in mind ones own health benefit. It may benefit others also in the process but the initiative is primarily selfish. The examples selfish cleanliness are:
Washing hands after touching garbage.
Washing hands before eating food.

These are primarily of person self interest. These initiatives will help the person to keep himself or herself healthy. I call this selfish cleanliness.

Selfless cleanliness:

Selfless cleanliness is where you protect others from your germs. some examples of selfless cleanliness are:
Washing or sanitizing hands after sneezing on hands.
Washing or sanitizing hands after picking ones nose or rubbing ones eyes.
Washing ones hands with soap after eating with hands.
Washing hands with soap after rinsing ones own dirty dishes.
Avoiding putting hands in mouth or chewing nails.

In above actions the person performing the cleanliness act is doing it for others. He or she is protecting others from his or her germs.

I have realized that many people are aware of selfish kind of cleanliness and the larger number is not aware of the selfless kind. Even when people are sick many are not aware of how they are contributing to spreading their germs. For a person like me it comes naturally but seems I should not consider that to be the norm.

What is your selfless act of cleanliness?