Everyone is selfish… only some people admit it.
Selfish may not be the best word, to be more specific, it’s better to say everyone is governed by their self-interests, and only some are honest enough to acknowledge this; but that’s a lot of big words, and big words are burdensome.
Selfish also has that negative vibe to it. It hints that the person cares primarily about their own personal profit or pleasure and lacks consideration for others. So with that understanding, the more we think of others, the less selfish we are.. right?
This is where I prefer to look at things in terms of interests instead. When you look at a person’s choices through their interests, things become a lot more interesting. We start to realize that we have something to gain from almost everything we do. That gain may come in the form of a warm fuzzy feeling you get when you help that old lady across the street, or sense of positive change you feel when you donate $5 to your buddies Movember campaign (Decembeard here we come).
Our motivations may be as simple as keeping our folks off our backs by obliging to their requests to pursue a life in the holy trinity of Immigrant Children occupations DoctorLawyerEngineer. So though we may feel that we’re doing something against our own interest because we Love (or simply want to appease) our family, really is still us fulfilling an interest in keeping specific individuals happy. Complaining about it with a first world Martyr syndrome is even more proof, that individuals that claim they’re doing things for others, can still only see the cause and effect of their actions through their own eyes.
I’m not pointing this out to say it’s a bad thing. The more I learn about the world, the less I can conclude that anything is absolutely good or bad. There’s always ample wiggle room to build and destroy in every situation. Instead I think recognizing the point itself that we’re dictated (if not a slave to) our self interests is the first step to better understanding ourselves, and to actually recognize situations where we can actually be selfless (if that’s your goal).
I saw some girl on my newsfeed complain about giving a homeless dude $5 and then watching him use a Cel phone, and how that ruined her day. I wondered if the $5 transaction was ever for him to begin with, as she didn’t seem content anymore helping out someone she no longer considers “needy”. Emotional blackmail tactics like we saw earlier this year with KONY, showed us exactly how organizations can make us feel guilty for having it better than those that don’t and providing us an escape from the guilt by donating some money, putting up posters, and promoting their scam ass charities.
We’re all in it for ourselves, and when we do for others, it’s still in relation to ourselves. We have a finite amount of loved ones, and their interests can merge with ours. I have 2 sisters, and I care to see them happy before I worry about your sisters, and that’s ok, and even if you don’t think it’s ok, it’s still how it is.
Accepting this less than pleasant truth is important for me, as it helps me with my relationships. I work to understand my priorities and myself. I then try to find unity with others who have similar priorities. Self interests doesn’t mean that life is one big game of Survivor, it just means you have a better understanding of what carrots need to be dangled over your head to get you off your ass.
As well, it helps you figure out what carrots should be dangled in front of others to get THEM off your ass. Parents don’t necessarily want Doctors Engineers & Lawyers.. they want children who are secure, doing something that makes them proud, and something others will respect (so you can get married and make them grandchildren).. they have priorities, and didn’t make babies for the simple sake of having mouths to feed, you’re an investment. Recognizing the interests of both your parents and you may be the first step to finding a harmonizing middle ground, it may even show that you have the same priorities, and just different strategies to getting there.
Knowing your interests will also keep you from wasting your time with people and projects that are not taking you where you want to be. It’ll help you focus, and you’ll be saying NO a lot more often, freeing up your time and spirit to be with people and working on things that truly make you happy.
And isn’t that really the central interest within all of us… to be Happy?
As with almost everything I ramble about… the answers to the questions you’ll have came from within, and will only be answered from within. Have a conversation with yourself… acknowledge your self-interests, identify them, and pursue them. As for the people you truly care about.. figure out their self-interests, and help them fulfill them, because making them happy is a self-interest of yours.
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Jeremy Renner singing New York State Of Mind on Jimmy Fallon.
I was NOT expecting THAT voice out of THAT man.
You are unnecessary, sir.
He’s one of those actors I’d be afraid to approach on the street. He’s not big, but the fact that he played the psychotic strong man Bane in The Dark Knight Rises tells you he can look and act huge. He has what Richard Burton had, at least before Burton turned sodden from all that booze — a quicksilver temperament. The low boil is his natural state. He’s bearded here, which softens his thick lips, and the accent he adopts reminds me of Burton’s — the effect is like a Welsh bully boy playing King Arthur. Civilized as Locke is, nothing can soften Hardy’s innate volatility. He never seems still, even when his face is immobile, even when he’s trying so carefully to modulate his tone. The film was written for him and is unimaginable without him.
- David Edelstein reviews Locke on Vulture.
Tom Hardy and Steven Knight in New York, talking about Locke.
the love of my life danielle knudson just commented on my Instagram.. i think I just died.