For months. Yes, months. My cousins and I have been talking about selfish. I even tried to read Ayn Ranyd’s Virtue of Selfishness…a book which covered pretty much everything our discussion did. After all this talk here are three main points that I have gotten out of it:
1. to be selfish means to take care of yourself
2. our society has put a bad name to selfishness
3. to care for another is still selfish (it makes you happy–usually)
How does this impact me? That question in itself is selfish. Crazy to think about. I mentioned a few posts back that I have started to serve in this homeless ministry where we bring food to those less fortunate within the gates of our city. It is a wonderful experience and I am actually preparing my mind for the experience this evening. I have come home the past two weeks with my heart full. Full of love and care for these people I do not really know and despair for those who are not working to get out of this situation or who are dealing with difficult stuff. Life is tough. I get it. Trust me (recall the accident, brain injury, etc…). Not everyone is fighting the same battle but we all struggle. That is why it feels so good to help someone out. Because you feel like you are giving back in the way that you are capable, because someone helped you at some point. I’m sure. Unless you like on Jupiter and there is no one else there with you–but even in that case, if you are living on Jupiter than I’m pretty sure you have G-d to thank for that! I know for me it helps to be able to give my time, energy, smiles and evening to people I don’t know because it provides an opportunity to show them how important they are. I had a lady last week who looked amazed after I talked with her and prayed with her. She looked renewed and stunned that someone believed she had worth. Those smiles and moments are what makes it worthwhile to me. That is exactly my point. I am serving others but I am realizing that it may also be, for me. Is this selfish? Is it wrong to help others because it makes me happy? Is it a sin to enjoy giving, but, because it gives me those elevated moments of enlightenment?
The real question is: are we serving others or serving ourselves? And…if our choice is the second, whats so bad about that?