Mar 21: Selfish or Selfless?

Do you do more for yourself or for others?

 
I would say that I have an equal balance of both. Yes I do a lot of things for myself – I certainly buy myself a lot of stuff, but I’m also always willing to help out others if and when they need me.

It’s something that I’ve been aware of for many, many years. And it’s certainly changed significantly over those years.

When I was younger, I was constantly putting myself second, and everybody else was first. I was an incredibly selfless individual. I was always off doing something for somebody else, and completely disregarding whatever I had to do for myself – usually resulting in something not getting done, or getting it done quite late.

I often referred to it as ‘Country-boy Syndrome’. I would put everybody elses needs before mine, because that’s how I grew up as a kid in the country. Back then, being selfish was unheard of, and you always go out of your way to help other people – that’s one of the qualities that makes a decent human being.

When I moved to Melbourne, I brought this philosophy with me. Being the naive country kid, most of the time I didn’t realise that others were taking advantage of my good, generous nature. And then as time passed, I began to cotton on to what was happening around me. Yes it was disappointing, because people were always asking for my help, but on the very rare occasions where I would ask them for their help, they were all conveniently busy – even when I asked them weeks in advance.

The final straw was when I was in my early twenties. I’d spent the last couple of years being messed around by various housemates; I’d spent so much time being messed around by my ‘ex’ (G), and something inside of me snapped. I’d had enough, and things were going to change.

It was time to start putting ME first for a change, and when I did, everybody took note. I learnt how to say no to people. I learnt how to actually do things that I wanted to do for a change. I was also working full-time and earning my own money, so I was able to buy things for myself, which I’d never really been able to do before – financial independence!!

Since then, I’ve grown and matured, and seen people for who and what they really are. Unfortunately, as a result, I have a less-than-positive view on society in general. People label me as being negative, or a pessimist, and make it sound like a really bad thing, but I prefer to call it being a realist. I always started out with a view of life being sunshine, puppies and rainbows, but then over time I realised that it was all bullshit, and I was completely oblivious to what was really going on. Now that I am, my views have changed. I see people for what they really are. I’m not saying that everybody is like that, but generally speaking, people in society are extremely selfish, and will do whatever it takes to get something that they want. People are ruthless. People are not afraid to throw you under the bus if it will allow them to achieve something.

Yes, there are still people who see the world as sunshine, puppies and rainbows, and, well, good for them. They choose to see the ‘good’ in everything, however, I just see it as being ignorant. That’s not how society is. That’s not how people operate.

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