Thursday, July 16, 2009

July 16 - To Be (Selfish) or Not To Be (Selfish)

To be (selfish) or not to be (selfish), that is the question.

So, is it nobler to tell someone what you think they might want to hear or to just simply state what you want? Sometimes, we can be too nice and maybe we should embrace our inner Selfish.

Tonight I did something (verbally) that I thought was nice, unselfish, and giving of me. But shortly after saying it, I pondered how it was taken. Was it seen as I had intended - as a generous act - or was it possibly misconstrued as a brush off?

In actuality, what I had said - what I'd offered... was not at all what I wanted. Why did I do it? Why don't we always say what we mean and tell people what we want? If we do it too much it that 'selfish'? Let's look up selfish...
  1. concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others
  2. arising from concern with one's own welfare or advantage in disregard of others selfish act
So, which one of these applied? Well, had I not said what I had said, I would have been 'seeking my own pleasure' - BUT it would not have been 'without regard for others' because the pleasure of each others company would have caused mutual pleasure. Therefore I was not 'selfish' by the terms of the first definition.

As for the second, 'concern with one's own advantage' would not apply either as the advantage would have been mutual as well. I must therefore conclude that what I did was not 'selfish' - but what was it?

Stupid, maybe. My supposed unselfish act resulting in my missed out on an evening in the presence of someone I love. So, as I sit here alone, I must concede that while I was not being selfish, my not being honest and saying what I wanted - even if I thought I was being nice - resulted in my not having the best evening possible. It sounds selfish to me, but I guess it is not.

The only thing my action really resulted in was ten minutes of a brain dump in this pondering blog... oh, and an excuse to use a cool picture of a chimp!

And a lesson learned about simply stating what you want.

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