Tuesday 29th January

Even the best of us, the most generous, the most kind-hearted – are selfish at heart.  Not that that is such a terrible crime, for those who live for others do receive thanks, even if only in the form of a smile, and that is what they live for, that moment when their efforts are recognized.  To feel good they have to feel good about themselves.  And that is true of most of us I think.  Along with our individual selfishness, our using people for our own ends – we still want to feel good about ourselves.

And I contend that we are all selfish in our own ways.  I plan my day so as to carve out little moments of selfishness; enjoying my almond croissant and latte while writing this blog; copying my daily dose of music from CD onto my laptop and i-player so that like the woman in the nursery rhyme – I shall music wherever I go.  A little selfishness which maybe hurts no-one else, but selfishness all the same.

We all have our own agenda, where our needs are satisfied, and if we live with others we are prepared to subsume our own selfishness for a while to satisfy someone else’s, and in that way we too feel good about ourselves.  Being a martyr is also a form of selfishness.

And all of this petty selfishness is okay.  It is only when we demand that others bow to our selfishness that things get out of hand.  And there are people out there like that.  Avoid them at all costs because no amount of martyrdom is enough for them.  Their selfishness is of a totally different degree and your giving in to them just feeds their megalomania.  I cannot think that they ever feel good about themselves, but maybe they do.  As they look around them at all these idiots scurrying around obeying their orders and doing their bidding.  Maybe mixed with the scorn is a feeling of great satisfaction.  Who knows?  For me, I have found my level of selfishness and do not want any more, because of course then I might not feel so good about myself, and no amount of selfishness is worth losing that.