Amongst the innumerable things that I miss about school is one of my History teachers Sister Dorothea. She is an expressive, passionate, awesome lady. Many students used to think of her as a nutbag because she used to come across as too strong and sometimes very strict in an insane sort of way. But I always had this respect for her in my heart. One of the things that she repeatedly used to say out loud with a lot of gusto and voice modulations in class used to be “Man is born selfish from his mother’s womb!” She would say it with such passion and expression that we wouldn’t be able to stop ourselves from giggling or rolling our eyes; but the words are still stuck with me today.
Yes, man is selfish. Each and every one of us is. And it’s not a bad thing; it’s just how we are made. It’s deep-rooted, embedded in our systems. No matter what we do, ultimately, somehow, in some direct or indirect way, we are doing it only for ourselves. “What’s in it for me?” is always our first question. Anything and everything we do, we try to see if we’re any sort of gainers in the whole process. If not, we’re probably not very interested. In love, are you? Well, it’s you you’re more in love with. You only love the person because he/she makes you feel good. You want that feeling, you want that happiness. Loving someone has got to be one of the most selfish things we indulge ourselves in.
Consider people who help the poor people or who give handsome amounts of money to charity. Seems so noble. So honourable. But they are simply doing it because it gives them the contentment, the satisfaction of making someone’s lives a little better. It gives them a kick. For all you know, it gives a similar kind of kick to them that some people get out of gambling.
Osho says that being selfish is simply being yourself. The word has been condemned too much, but actually, it’s a beautiful word. “Don’t consider anybody else in the world, just consider yourself; and in that very consideration, you would have considered the whole world.” You need to love yourself in order to love anybody else. Two people loving each other without having a similar feeling for themselves is similar to two beggars begging from each other.
There was something that our teacher said in our Organizational Behaviour lecture in college which really made me think. While discussing ‘motivation’, and what really motivates someone to help others, she said “Suppose there are two best friends X and Y, who work in different companies and X is desperate to quit her job and join Y’s company, Y would go out of her way to help her best friend, right? Would she do that because she is her best friend? She might think so. But subconsciously, she’s doing it because empowering her best friend will give her a sense of power. She will get the satisfaction of changing her friend’s life. Is will be a purely selfish act.”
Wow. Jerks you back into reality, doesn’t it? Well, I had been fretting over the fact that everyone is self-centred and mean and egoistical, but you know what? It’s really okay. So am I. It’s okay to be looking out for yourselves, to think of benefitting yourself. If everyone is busy doing that, there shouldn’t be anyone to complain about.
So actually, K3G style, it’s all just really about loving yourself.