Thursday, May 30, 2013

To continuously be selfless will result in having no self

The quote of the week for me “The kindest people are often the most depressed.” This is true to a larger extent than I want to believe. Thoughts like that kill the spirits of the endangered romantic. A dying breed most known for flocking together and just hoping that one day everything will be okay. Sometimes not much more can be done than just hoping. After a long conversation about what the “right” thing to do is, I came up with a thought for the selfless, and those that believe in a romanticized happy future.
                Selflessness is the most dangerous compassionate act. It’s more than just refusing to throw others under the bus, it’s throwing yourself in their place. Actively harming your well-being to protect others. It sounds like the right thing to do, it shows concern and love. Yet, it creates no sense of self, it creates  “I’m not happy unless you’re happy.” To continuously be selfless will result in having no self.  I guess it is in the name. Your identity merges with those you love, and you measure your success through their success, even though their success may not benefit you in any other way. You’re happy because they’re happy, and they’re happy because good things happen to them. A little bit down the road, you’re unhappy because you’re so financially, mentally, emotionally (whatever it may be) drained, that you can longer support them. They’re unhappy because bad things happen and you can’t support them.  Maybe there was a time and place when selfless acts were appreciated and would always benefit everyone, but it’s no longer that time, and this world is no longer that place.
                So there’s no happiness in acting for others benefit? That’s not true at all. Much like everything else great in life, moderation is key. Spend that bonus you got on a stranger in a hard time, or spend the little free time you have calling a friend.  But if you work hard so you can afford a jet ski, when you get enough money to buy a jet ski, buy the jet ski. Even if you have a friend struggling, it may just be best to let them ride your jet ski instead of giving up your happiness for theirs.  There is value in giving to others, but if you don’t value yourself occasionally, you’ll have nothing to give.  I guess the best advice for the selfless is the same advice for the selfish. Share the wealth.

It’s summertime and I clearly want to ride a jet ski.  

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