How do you describe the optimum of faultlessness when the concept is solely subjective? Growing up you couldn’t tell me it wasn’t unachievable. My vertebrae would creak in protest while the myosin and actin clenched at my will. I would do anything for other people, even if it was at my expense. Furthermore, it was rewarded too.
“Think of others. Make good grades I would approve of. Listen to your elders. Don’t talk back. Your elders know more than you. I’m disappointed.”
I began equating my worth with how much happiness I brought other people. It made complete sense to me, so it never clicked after years of struggling with keeping the people around me completely blissful while I tried to always be step ahead of them to anticipate what they wanted. I realized in middle school that I couldn’t be of any use while I suffered. Like a puzzle piece, what my mind seemed to miss before is that I can only carry people with the strength my muscles allowed. Letting myself decay and wilt at the expense of others didn’t help others at all. I was being useless.
So, in turn I built myself up like a tool gleaming to be used as others emotional outlet and the lift to their goals.
What I realized in college is that it wasn’t my job to be at the mercy of someone’s thunderous wrath. I was not alive to be the stepping stool to lift others; I was very capable of reaching myself and in turn, helping others this way. Furthermore, I couldn’t please everyone. People come and go, taking what they need like a shopper in a market and fleeing as soon as something more ostentatious catches their eye. Being nice to others will always be in my personality, but more importantly I need to be nice to myself.
I could no any longer preach the equality of everyone while practicing self-deprecating habits. I associated selfishness with a negative connotation, but why?
"Selfish: ADJ. Taking care of only your own needs and feelings without thought for others. "
When most people think of selfishness in action, they see a pompous person who arrogantly showcases exaggerated and excessive self appreciation at the expense of others. This person would exemplify narcissism and use people, anyone really, as the golden staircase to lift themselves higher. Their friends, family, and associates would be pushed deeper into a quicksand of resentment by the soles of their shoes.
But being selfish in moderation is good.
In moderation, self-love and attentiveness lets us understand ourselves in ways others never could. This in turn will transform our goals and passions to realistic reaches, and like a domino effect, help the people around us. So be selfish. Kick your feet up and relax. Take that break even if you’ve only been working for an hour. You don’t have to feel bad about it.