The answer is, like with all things, a balance in the middle. If you think of it like a swinging pendulum, on one extreme is selfishness, where you act without having any care or regard for other people, you just do what works for you. On the opposite extreme is selflessness, where you care about others but have no regard for yourself, your identity or having your needs met.

There’s strength in a healthy kind of selflessness. Daisaku Ikeda says “‘Our real strength lies in our capacity for empathy with others and the action we take on their behalf.” This is the selflessness of putting kind thoughts into your actions. We are all here together, why not move about this Earth with thoughts of others in our minds. Being selfless when I can, it brings an undeniable pleasure of bringing happiness to people. There was a time that I was having a terrible day at work, and I could just feel myself being dragged down by every little 3unfortunate thing that happened through it. My co-worker was having an even worse day, and he is the type to brush things off easily, to see someone that’s very happy-go-lucky, be in a bad mood, it does something to you. It makes you think about how bad can things really be. Instead of being selfish and letting my bad energy spread and create more negative, I decided to be selfless. My day was not as bad as it seemed and I knew I had the power to turn mine around and my co-worker’s. Being selfless in even just the smallest of acts like turning someone’s day around with a little gesture can make a difference.

Everyone is selfish no matter what. This is because selflessness isn’t even possible. The choice to ever be “selfless” will always be driven by a form of serving one’s self? No person chooses to be selfless because THEY absolutely hate it or are against doing it. People choose to be selfless because THEY want to, or believe they should be because of some virtue they hold dear, etc. Regardless of the reason for choosing it, the reason always serves some aspect of their self/being. Even a person choosing to give an item to someone which they really don’t want to give them chooses to do it because of another “side” of THEMSELVES driving them to do it. In this case, the only selfless act they could commit is to choose NOT to give the gift so as to NOT serve their primary driving force for giving it (themselves). But again, could a person ever bring themselves to this decision without a selfish reason?

(1) The Balance Between Selfless vs Selfish by Bianca van Riet
(2) Selflessness: The Balance Between Being Selfless And Selfish by Liza Dizon
(3) Selflessness Is Selfish – Debate Wise

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