Selfishness vs Self-interest; is it always a bad thing to be selfish?
Selfishness is almost always taken in a negative light, where it is thought to be selfish is to act mean and it is all about self-centered devotion with disregard of others. It is understood as keeping in mind our own wishes, interests and wellbeing over those of others. Negative selfishness is when we pursue our goals and interests harming others, or taking away other’s rights. This should be avoided at all costs.
On the other hand self-interest or positive selfishness is to act in your own best interests but not in utter disregard of others. It is to keep yourself first, watching out for what serves you. You can make your life more fulfilling and satisfying by paying attention to your own significant desires, goals, and needs. When done properly it is not a selfish act, rather it ensures that we are more satisfied and enriched enough to serve others. Therefore it is not wrong to care about yourself because if you don’t put yourself first, or seek out and embrace those things which bring you success and happiness, you cannot possibly help those around you or have a positive effect on them.
Let’s challenge the conventional negative connotation attached to being selfish. Society teaches us that preferring our personal desires is negative or unworthy, this bias against the self leads us to ignore our own needs and priorities. Those societal standards are mistaken, but we must not be, as they obstruct our path to wellbeing and fulfillment. To sum it up, to be selfish is to be human!