Selfishness – Perhaps not such a bad trait after all
Have you ever wondered if there is such a thing as a completely selfless act? Philosophers have debated this concept for centuries. Are we acting in a selfish manner when we relish in the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with giving of our time, the delight in developing friendships along the way, the exciting new experience we gain or the approval and validation from friends and family? Not to mention the blatantly shameless act of padding our resumes or college applications. Is it a bit selfish or just the perks of volunteering?
When one considers the welfare of others in their decision to volunteer, does that make it an unselfish act? Maybe a sliver of selfishness is essential and perhaps it lies at the root of why we perform good deeds and perhaps on a subconscious level, it acts as our motivator. It could be just the thing to inspire us to volunteer for a cause, shovel our neighbour’s driveway, or canvass door to door. We hear our friends and co-workers speak from the heart about the benefits and personal satisfaction they receive in the volunteer work that they do. Sounds like a motivator to me! Selfish or not, the fact of the matter is, very few of us will carve out time in our busy schedules to do something for others that leave us feeling empty, or at best, apathetic. That’s not how it works. We’re all looking for that pay-off, that warm fuzzy from doing a good deed and maybe, we should honour that. If it is our selfish nature to nurture ourselves that leads us to the door of giving and sharing, I say, follow it. Take a giant step forward and kick it wide open. See what’s on the other side and exercise your right to be a little selfish in a good way. Get out there and volunteer! See what kind of rich rewards await that you can keep all to yourself.