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How You Save the World

Posted By: Randy GageMarch 30, 2011

In yesterday’s post I was called everything but a child of God for suggesting people adopt a behavior of selfishness and recommending Ayn Rand’s book on the subject.  Some wanted to twist my words and suggest that I was against helping the disadvantaged.  So let’s dial down the drama and the rhetoric and look at the real issues…

Like Rand, I also use the word selfish to describe virtuous qualities of character.  The dictionary definition of selfishness is basically concern with one's own interests, without regard for others. I take that to mean you value yourself first, regardless of what anyone else thinks. Notice that there is no good or evil implicit in the definition.  That, 'without regard for others' does not mean that you are doing harm to others.  It simply means that you are well adjusted and sensible enough to meet your own needs first.

Now of course that’s not what the herd would have you believe...

They tell you that your moral imperative is to put the interests of the many before the interests of the one.  That you should sacrifice yourself for the “greater good.”

This idea is very dangerous to your self-esteem and your life. Relinquishing your happiness for the sake of others verifies to yourself, and others, that you are small and unworthy of even your own attention.  It’s actually anti-humanity, and it makes you mentally sick.

Your survival and your pursuit of happiness must form the foundation of your value system. To make your life, by your own means, towards your own standards, and for your own enjoyment.  Anything less than that is harmful to you.  And anything harmful to the individual is actually detrimental to society as a whole.

Please read that last sentence again.

Anything that isn’t good for the individual can’t be good for society as a whole.  Now as I mentioned on the last post, that doesn’t mean you won’t sometimes sacrifice or subjugate your own needs for others in a relationship or as parents do all the time.

The real issue is when that becomes the norm, when you see serving others and helping them as more important than helping yourself.  It’s a sure sign of low self-esteem, worthiness issues, and harmful mind viruses.  And that is the fastest way to a life of victim-hood, resentment and frustration.

If you tell me you’re highest good is serving others or serving God, I think you’ve lost the plot.  In my experience those running around trying to save the world are usually the most fucked up people I know.  It’s usually avoidance behavior so they don’t have to deal with their own issues.  They run around looking for drama, so they don’t have time to think of their own drama.

To the casual observer they look like altruistic saints.  Those that know better recognize them for the judgmental, insecure, drama-magnets they really are.  At their core level, they’re desperately looking for acceptance.  They think if they rescue enough others, it will somehow give them the self-esteem they’re missing.  It won’t.

You have to get comfortable in your own skin.  No one can give you that validation.

Want to help the world?  Great.  Get your own life in order first. Get your own needs met first.  Get the money thing out of the way first.  Get yourself in a position of strength first, and you’ll be amazed how much good you can do.

Of course you’ll discover that you do that good for selfish reasons.  Which is where we’ll pick up next…

-RG

65 comments on “How You Save the World”

  1. I'm completely on board with you, Randy, as far as what I profess. Of course, I'm still continuously aligning my actions to what I claim verbally to be my truth. Great post!

  2. This is one of the best explanations of being self-ish, and the ramifications of chronic "do-gooding" that I've ever read. Thoroughly enjoyed! Thanks Randy.

  3. RG,
    I was thinking of you as I was flying back from Atlanta, Ga. The flight attendant holds the oxygen that drops from the ceiling and tells you to put it on you before you kid. That is because if you pass out there is no one to take care of your kid who will also pass out. Sounda hard but it re-inforces that in order to help we have to be in the position.

    The people that are martyr's and co-dependents who are suffering needlessly are just crying for help. They are looking to suck you into their web. The help comes at the expense of making them look good, or display to the world and universe that they are truly good and are sacrificing.

    I do not mean that a father doesn't get a second job to pay for the kids schooling. That is responsibility, not lack of selfishness.

    Thanks,
    Jim

  4. Randy...this is a worthy discussion but I am convinced a huge part of the drama and rhetoric you are saying should be "dialed down" is due to the word you chose to elevate: selfishness. Sure, you have featured a generic dictionary definition to portray a milder interpretation. But the fact is...the word selfish in an inherently negative word and concept in English. The battle raging in the blog is not necessarily about the appropriateness of putting yourself first...but of making the word mean something that it has never really meant in our society. It's an Alice in Wonderland moment in a way. I think it was the Mad Hatter who said words should mean whatever we want them to mean. But that isn't the case. I actually think you are promoting a different idea than appropriate selfishness. I think it is more about self primacy. I think your idea is simply (though not easily) a determination to pursue first meeting your own needs. That does not mean that the pursuit of your needs be done at the expense of others or with an a sneering spiteful disregard for others (which is what the connotation of selfishness in our society has). Instead, I think you are saying one should pursue meeting one's own needs regardless of whether others negative neediness would attempt to preclude you from that. To me, that is quite different from selfishness.

        1. Amen Victoria. We can package it any way we want to project away from ourselves, but it always come back to, as Randy says, who was always at the scene of the crime? I know it's not just as easy as saying that and I think that this blog is helpful to recognize these things about ourselves that we need to stop running from and take responsibility and identify with. But when the rubber meets the road, we will all come to the conclusion that it's all about us FIRST. We must take responsibility for everything good or bad that we do and work towards improving from there. The fact that people are taking the time on this blog to evaluate is a begining but it won't eliminate the ultimate, which is looking in the mirror, accepting responsibility in a TRUTHFUL way and working forward to improve each and every day in each and every way.

  5. Randy,
    I ordered the Rand book from the library this week and shall have it soon. Thanks for the reminder to read it. This is a great post and all I can say is - thank you, brother.
    John

  6. Keep it coming. The Truth will set the World Free. Or at least a few people willing to actually look at it from a Spiritual perspective

  7. Well, I just can't imagine who you are talking about!?! 🙂 lol Oh Randy you poor guy, I get so angry with you, and you truly have no idea why.

    If you want to call me a drama queen with major worthiness issues, I accept. However, please understand at least part of the real reason for my anger. It is fine to say all you have said, and I agree with you about taking care of yourself first, before you can save the world. I know from personal experience, and yes I am sure to many I looked like an altruistic saint, maybe. (And I wasn't.)

    It is important though that you realize all my ranting is about your use of a philosophy that also leads to certain set of political beliefs, along with such an important concept as learning how to get our own needs met.

    I have used this blog to escape dealing with my own issues, it doesn't make me horrible. Just human. And I have said things I shouldn't. I don't want to look at this as a battle anymore. Really, I agree it is an important message. I just wished you had delivered it differently. I think it was a mistake the way you are going about it.

    It will still help people and even me. But, I want to say Ayn Rand might be a little outdated. Her word usage probably keeps lots of people from following her. "Without regards for others", does imply a negative. It means doing what is in your own best interest at the expense of others. That is negative. It is a stretch to find the positive. I'm not saying you can't. But really, think about it. What you really need to say is, doing what makes you happy without regards for others APPROVAL. It is our need for approval we need to be rid of. Not regard for others.

    Ayn Rand made sense in the context of her time and her life. She still has much wisdom to offer, but wow did she make some big boo boos too. Using the term "selfishness" was probably one of them.

    If you care about the disadvantaged, please realise that sometimes they need handouts to later be productive. And, look at the times we live in and the America we live in. You cannot take a philosophical stance like objectivism and apply it to the many serious and complex issues of poverty and freedom, without first dealing with the realities that are before us.

    Also, Ayn Rand might have us believe evil is not seeing that there are only absolutes and only rational thoughts leading to good. It is not entirely true. Emotions help us make rational decisions sometimes. Objectivisim in and of it self is subjective.

    I want to say one more thing too. I am a constantly growing and changing person. I am not sure what true self order looks like, but I know even in a disordered state I helped many people. I didn't save the world, but even in neurotic turmoil I brought some love and care to others.

    I am afraid if I keep waiting to be perfect and self ordered I will never get off my ass and do some good for me or anyone else.

    I hate being mad at you. I get angry because I'm angry with you. Really, I am so happy when we agree.

    Annie

    1. Hi Annie- You make a great point that it is our need for approval that we need to get rid of. It's a killer in so many ways.

      With regard to being mad and angry with Randy, you may want to examine that. Nothing outside of yourself can cause you to be bothered, mad or angry. It's something inside of you, not with Randy or anyone/any thing else.

    2. Annie, I completely agree with you... I agree that we must care about our own needs and happiness before we worry about others, but not at the expense of others. Promoting "selfishness" can be taken the wrong way by people. It's important to becareful about what words you use because people will most often use the definition that's most commonly accepted... Those are the same people who refuse to help other nations in need when disasters strike, because they believe we should be helping our own (Americans) instead of anyone else. They're the ones who are quick to ask "what have they done for us?"... The true definition of selfish, in my opinion. I think we should help those who are the most in need first. It makes me feel good to know that I've made the world a better place for someone else, even if my own life isn't 100% in order. I don't neglect myself, but anytime spent helping others is always taking time away that you could be investing towards yourself and your family. Most of all, It gives me a greater purpose- if that's "selfish," then so be.

  8. I grew up with a mother with a narcissistic personality.Know about it?Favourise one child,destroy the other.I was the other...Still today I have difficulties to make decisions,to choose between things,I have no real personal taste and absolutely no selfconfidence.In fact I had absolutely nothing when I was old enough to live on my own.And the lack you have programmed in your brain is so deeply down you sometimes wonder if you will ever be the one you want.But I am working on it.Grow up with that kind of parent(and the other one alchoholic)is like being member of a sect your whole childhood.Today I try to have nothing to do with them.In every decision I shall make their oppinions is always like an echo in the head.And my exhusband was the same.I am happy to be alive.But not always.Sometimes I want to die and start it all over again with other parents.But I have a son now,and it is difficult too with my background.Thank god I found you and all these positive people.And I totally agree YOU HAVE TO take care of yourself first even if it is as difficult as it is for some.Love your posts

    1. Hi Mo- The best thing you can do for yourself is to forgive your parents and all others in your life. Don't do this for them, do it for yourself. Check out Colin Tipping's Radical Forgiveness. And forgive yourself.

      1. Thank you! I started with Colin T and it gave a very strong reaction.I had stomach ache for two hours.I will continue to work with forgiveness,I guess I have a lot to do there.Lately,my health has been so bad and I guess this can help a lot.Thanks Joe,I appreciate it!

  9. Okay, I have one more thing to say. I was selfish on yesterday's post. It was selfish to write such an angry post, and I did because it served my anger without regards to you or anyone else. Not so nice huh?

    1. Being selfish and being self-righteous are two different things. Yesterdays post was full of a lot of accusations and those always comes from a place of self righteousness.

      Jeanne

      1. I will assume you have experience with that Jeanne since you have also made accusations on this blog. However, sometimes an accusation of a wrong doing is approiate. My self-righteousness was not the problem, it was the way I delivered it. The way I delivered it was selfish.

        Thanks for your kind attempt at clarification.

        Annie

  10. Here I thought I was doing pretty well with selfishness, personal growth, worthiness issues and I actually caught myself "forced"(no-one can make me do something unless I put myself in that situation)into doing something I did not want to, then caught myself manipulating others to be miserable just because I was.... Shame on me, we all were miserable together when I actually had the choice of "not doing" and I would have been happy and I dare say the others would have too. If I had been selfish and looked after me first, then I, and the world around me, would have been in a better place!

    Thanks for the continued exposure to personal growth and development. As good as we are now we can be better. Those around us need us to be, so they too can prosper!

    1. Brian- Be kind to yourself. And NEVER say, "shame on me." That's an evil phrase that kills our worthiness. We're playing this human game and screwing up is part of it. Learn from it, smile, and move on.

  11. Everyone has so many strengths Randy, no matter what position they are in at any given time. It is going to help anyone to call them "fucked up".

    Let's just love each other where we are.

    Needs and wants are a funny thing, sometimes they are difficult to discern. Know that many times in life we do things to meet our needs and wants and other's needs and wants as well.

    There is a fine line between everything seemingly opposite and we only know inside ourselves what we are truly doing and why. Sometimes our survival skills help us sometimes it hurts us. Sometimes it brings us to the brink of death and other times it renews our life and others.

    I don't think you are against helping the disadvantaged, at least not in your way of thinking. But your words have power, because you do. Your power to inspire others in a certain direction, can indirectly negatively impact the disadvantaged. In my opinion.

    I will not know what is truly in your heart, only you do. I shouldn't have been so harsh yesterday.

  12. The most selfless people spend the most time working on themselves.

    Enlightened souls spent significant amounts of time in quiet, alone, contemplating One-ness until they stopped identifying with their ego, their feelings and thoughts.

    Their extended forrays into quiet would be viewed as selfish by many who don't understand how "Me-Time" creates truly noteworthy people and accomplishments. I'm glad they were selfish...bettered humanity as a whole.

    Thanks for sharing Randy!

    RB

  13. Randy, now I understand that we do not disagree. While I chose my mentor. Please, when you see we do not understand the issue, help us to steer the topic. If we judge before understanding, how we learn to understand?
    Thanks for clarifying your meaning of selfishness, because I fully agree with that definition. I fully agree when you say that many try to devote his life to helping others to avoid seeing their own reality and escape his own life. That was my past, but that will not be my future. Agree: "You can not help anyone if you do not first help yourself".
    I know many who want to fix the lives of others having a mess in their own life.
    I agree that many using religion have caused disasters in the life of the people.
    I know many who have condemned the prosperity of the people through religion.
    I know many who have shown only limited by religion.
    I know many that have negatively influenced the lives of other people using religion.
    I know many who use religion to subjugate the minds and hearts of others, only for their own benefit.
    Some of these cases I have experienced firsthand on me. This is not what i want for me, or anyone around me.
    I agree when you say that first one has to "fix himself" before trying to "fix another." I agree 100%.
    I think many did not understand the meaning you gave to the word selfish. I found it contradictory coming from you, when every day I see you're trying to help our growth, that would not do a selfish. My definition of selfishness is: a person who is only concerned with self-interest and completely forget all about him, not helping anyone, having the tools and knowledge to do it without sacrificing even a second of time for others. A selfish person (in my definition) would not have done what you did with your call to help with Japan! A few dyas ago. I am really glad that you clarified your definition, because I keep thinking I'm in a good way with a good mentor.
    If you have felt judged by my comment, I apologize, because it was never my intention to judge you or anyone else. No one should judge anyone. My questions always point to remove my ignorance and know the path I am traveling and who I have chosee as a mentor. When I learn, I am asking is to remove my ignorance.
    I am not better than anyone, nor do I believe that no one is more than me, we all have the same value as human beings, although we are at different levels of preparation, the level of preparation does not detract the value we have.
    Took some time reading your page and other books, regardless of my religious beliefs have also noticed that I grow as a person, both together, that's what I want, because I believe that to truly grow inside me, I can be of real help to others. A hug
    PS: If I had read Rand's book before commenting on yesterday's post, maybe I would understand you better. Although I have not read, but I'm going to read it.
    PS2: I have also begun a process of personal coaching for deep analysis.

  14. I totally agree. You have to start with yourself first. You have to be comfortable with yourself to be able to give value to others.

  15. Right on, my friend.

    As the son of a bonafide Florence Nightingale, I am genetically predisposed to help others...even when at a potential significant cost to my own health and welfare.

    My dear friend Cheryl Richardson recently wrote an excellent book, the Art of Extreme Self Care, that finally tuned me into the importance of building a foundation for helping others by first taking great care of one's self.

    There is sound reason why we are told on airplanes to "put on your own oxygen mask first." We can't help others if we have effectively killed our self.

    Extreme self care is NOT a license to ignore the needs of others...at least not for myself. Instead, it is a concept that is a MUST for all those committed to a life of service.

    Thank you for the profound thoughtfulness of this post. I expect that you may "save" some wonderful people who risk their ability to be of maximum service to the world because they have not paid enough attention to first caring for, and about, themselves.

    Sooo appreciate the great wisdom that you so consistently share on this blog.

    1. Dave- Be careful believing you are "genetically predisposed to helping others." Scientifically this isn't possible. You may have been programmed this way while being raised, however, we can chanage our programming to be more supportive..

      1. Appreciate the concern...I hope that you dont read everything I said (and say in the future) quite so literally. My mother is not per se a Florence Nightingale, and there obviously is no such gene (or at least not one yet discovered).

        Again, I do appreciate your genuine concern.

        Want to assure you that I am captain of my ship, CEO of me, and chief programmer of my mind. My past (which has been very good) does not control my future. 🙂

  16. I'm with you 100%. Its the same as when the airlines tell you to put your mask on first then help others. If you don't, then you become one of the others those who put their masks on first have to help!

    Plus it takes the judgmental focus out of the way. If you're busy getting your life in order, you are not watching what someone else is doing. Now you have nothing to gossip about! 🙂

  17. Randy, thanks helping clarify what Rand means.

    Some of what she says is upsetting, it's so against what "normal" is. It's even been psychopathic in some circles.

    Ideally though, she would want us to look objectively at even what she says.

  18. now i am upset that i have been out of the loop for a couple of months. carrying on doing other things, and not checking up on your blog.
    and here you were, posting my MOST FAV TOPICS EVER!!!
    i mean, The Virtue of Selfishness.....one of my all time most favorite books. ahhh...to be a part of the discourse on THAT post.
    anyway....so, i think you explained everything away fairly well in this one.
    the thing is, in my opinion, those that would castigate you for implying that selfishness is a good thing, are the same ones that suffer from the lack mentality you address in THIS post. the ones that value themselves so little that they only serve others.
    altruism is a really nasty disease.
    i mean, to elevate anyone, indiscriminately, above yourself.....thats awful.
    and they might say "it is just concern for my fellow man"....but that philosophy is so dangerous...cuz, it may START with your neighbors, but where does it end? your brother has a higher right to life than you...ok, fine, you love your brother that much....your neighbor?...ok, maybe you guys are close...but, strangers? rapists, murderers, anybody. the altruist elevates the right to life and happiness of everyone above hisself. this is downright dastardly.
    as far as selfishness having a negative connotation in the english language...i believe this is only because of the religious institutions and their effective indoctrination....but, we aren't here to discuss religion.
    anyway, rational self interest....i.e. selfishness. its rational, logical, reasonable...and guess what folks?...
    NECESSARY FOR SUCCESS!
    This reminds me of the time i posted a status update about how i was upset that the Obama administration wanted to give tax breaks to everyone except those who made over $250k a year. to which my lack minded FB friends replied about how sickening they thought it was that anyone could be as rich as Bill Gates and have all the nice things he has...which they claimed "he doesn't need."
    sadly, if you ask them how much they have donated in time and money to charity in their LIFE it wouldn't amount to a fraction (combined) of the good the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has done the world.
    but, alas. i can try to do as you do, and lead them to the water, but if they wish not to drink...they can die of dehydration right at the river bank. so be it.

  19. Helping others when you can - good. Sacrificing yourself for others - bad. Not to mention crazy.

  20. Randy - You are absolutely, positively AMAZING - in that you are able to keep coming up with such heavy duty & mentally deep "stuff" - please don't stop now - you are definitely on a roll my man! Thank YOU!

  21. Let me clarify something I may not have explained very well. I'm ALL for being "true" to oneself, not pretending to be someone they're not, in order to keep others happy. I scoff at the status quo and tend to be a bit unconventional myself... A critic and a realist. But also an optimist. I don't agree with living in unhappiness and under a facade to keep others happy, but when it comes to humanitarian efforts and goodwill, that's where I choose to go with the word "selfless" instead of "selfish". True humanitarian work entitles the absence of any personal gain or bias. I don't think people like Mother Teresa and Ghandi- people who put others before themselves- were as Randy said, "fucked up". That's quite a judgemental thing to say.

  22. I must say that I think Randy is spot on with this one. I have the tire marks on my back to prove it. How to save the world? It's not my job. I don't mean that in an insensitive way any more than when I say I am selfish. Any of you that follow my comments know that I study the bible and believe it to be total truth. the bible tells us all how it will end. I'm not in charge of the end of the world, only my contribution to it.... which compliments Randy's last post. It all starts with us. I am so sick and tired of the entitlement mentality that puts the buck on everyone else. I can tell you that I take full responsibility for F..... (sorry can't say it like Randy, badddd boy.. did.) up my life and making CHOICES that took me to where I went. I get it, thank God.. When I leave this world, my heart will be judged just like every one else's and I choose to grow my heart as big as I can while I am here. The bank account will be left behind hopefully to people who will do good with it but I intend to leave an example behind of what living a godly life does to expand and change the world. Truthfully, I can't wait till this world ends. I sometimes wonder if we won't find out that we have been living in hell when we finally get to heaven.

  23. After reading some of these comments, I am pretty sure I am glad to disagree with you.

    You have lots of independent people on your side Randy. Pray you never really need anyone Big Guy.

    I love my fucked up altruistic Obama lovin' self.

    I also love so many dissenting opinions, because it is probably the only way to find balance.

    Randy, I don't mean to have so many posts, but I process information pieces at a time. You don't have to be maladjusted to believe in the "greater good". Doing for the greater good is profitable for everyone. The greater good means it benefits all. You could turn your statement around and say that not helping the "greater good" is harmful to the individual. Love is what motivates us to help others. Love for ourselves and love for others.

    You can love yourself and take care of another's needs before your own. You make the decision out of love. It is self loving too, because you get to feel the experience of love. The romantics believe to love another, is to see the face of God. That does not mean all love requires giving without receiving. Sometimes love does though.

    I know what you mean. By this post. Saving the world is a complicated subject. Let's talk about Martin Luther King Jr. He gave so much and most likely neglected many of his own needs. Is he dastardly and fucked up? I mean truly he is a martyr.

    Not everyone, but some people, thank goodness, have such loyalty to their ideals and causes they would die for it. Does this make them fucked up? Maybe. Maybe not. Think about the people who have done that and how much we have benefited. Do you have one thing in your life you would die for?

    It is an assumption to suggest that all people are depraved in putting others above themselves.

    If you are talking about unhealthy interpersonal relationships, that could be different. But, I still stick by the notion there are strengths and benefits even in an unhealthy relationship. That is not to say stay in bad relationships, but one has to ask "what I am I getting from it?". Maybe at the time it is something important. I bring this up because you have been throwing codependency out there, and I think that mostly relates to relationships with other people, not our entire role in society.

    So I take it you think I'm fucked up. I have said it once here and I will say it again. You may be right, I may be crazy, but I just might be the lunatic your looking for. 🙂

    After the nastiness we have exchanged, I am still not ready to leave just yet. I will work on the temper. I think we should both cut out the public humiliations. Just a thought.

    Annie

      1. Mother Theresa, I wonder what she thought of Ayn Rands philosophy?

        Do you think Mother Theresa was a moral objectivist, believing that altruism was evil?

        Hmmm, I wonder.

      2. Anyway, I am glad you like Mother Theresa. Why don't you beat the drum for her books and philosophy. I think we would argue less. 🙂

  24. enlightened selfishness - at all levels this is the certain way to make devour the joy of living you in all aspects that this life experience caused you to desire, and also impact everything around you by giving more life to them(you) if it's about money you give them more in use value than you receive in monetary valuer, but by giving more the individual gets a good deal and he will most probably buy more from you, tell other, and give that value thru good marketing and business system to enough people that you get all that you desire, in love the same - accept only the best - only the partner that is a match for what your complete desires so that loving them comes naturally and receiving love from them comes naturally --- of course the last things mentioned are at the ego level - but are most congruent to you're wholeness

  25. A friend of mine just turned me on to you just the other day but, I actually just met you briefly a couple weeks ago at the NY New Life Expo! Never question divine interevention - I beleive we will meet again for the greater of humanity! Now - for what I really have to say is regarding your blog is this...If you take apart the word, selfish what do you get? Self Is. If you don't know who your true self is how can you help yourself, your friends/family or for that matter...help the greater of humanity? You must find who your true self is and nurture it, feed it and love it in order to truly help others. If you are
    selfis(h)(within one's self) then you can not be the opposite which is selfless. If this were a world of self less people it would be a world much worse than it is. Sure greed, resentment, anger - that can come from anyone - whether they are selfish or not. What matters is what is really in control here. Is it the Ego or is it the heart? If you feed your heart with selfishness you nuture and feed not only your "self of that which is" but also that and the world world around you through the energy of passion and compassion. However, if you only serve and feed your mind then you serve only yourself and that which is your ego. If this is the case then there is no connectivity to all that is around you. If you live in complete balance and harmony between the two then you ultimatly serve your self and all that is around you. And so it is. I look forward to more of your blogs.
    Funny, my website and book ihave a similar photo as the picture above...www.2012motherearth.com

  26. Hello, Randy,

    Another provocative post….Good—it engenders a lot of critical thinking. And I think that is the point.

    In my own actual life experience, I have found that most of the people who are all about “serving others” seem to assume some aura of moral superiority by doing this. Sometimes their “moral superiority” even comes because they are “CONCERNED” about the needs and difficulties of others without doing anything in real-life to help them.

    These are just my observations over 5 decades of interacting with and observing people.

    I think Wallace Wattles put it well…if you are not rich, the most “good” you can do in the world is limited to your own one- on-one activity. By becoming rich (is this selfish??), your scope of really helping others increases exponentially.

    Very interesting discussion….Thank you!

  27. Randy,

    You said it so well. It took me 3/4 of my life to realize I had to look after myself first or I was no good to anyone.

    There are many selfish people out there that even after they look after themselves, still won't help anyone. That's a completely different situation.

    I have a friend who never puts herself first and talks like a victim. It's so frustrating to see her act like this and I've told her man times.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

    Connie

  28. Just because you believe something doesn't make it real. It is only been 500 years since Humans believe the Earth was flat. It has only been 150 years since blacks were free in the U.S and women have the right to vote.
    This idea that because you make money you made it is just another belief. A belief that says I am heading to the graveyard consuming as much as I can just like a cow is going to the slaughtered house while a farmer plays bandyard music.
    For me your argument is one of duality is either you made it on your own,which nobody can, or you are a loser.
    It also assumes that the power of corporation is just an extension of an individual.
    Expanding your argument,we can see the great pain and suffering in Mexico where the richest person in the world lives. While Norwegians pay the second highest taxes in the world and nobody is starving,everyone can to college,everyone has universal health insurance and the unemployment rate is 3.5%. And they are multi-millionaries in the country.
    Your dualistic argument is moot. It is just a belief.
    The norwegian trust fund is now at $525 billions which is shared with everyone in the country. On the other hand,Exxon made $18 billions in 2009 and they got a refund for $150 millions. GE did not pay taxes in 2010.
    The sad part of this ideology is that most of the wealth in the nation is been created in California and New York-states that have higher taxes- not Florida and Alabama.
    You can always move to Haiti. They don't have a goverment.
    I might listen to what you have to say about prosperity and building a succeful NM but surely you have no credibility on raising children,or been married because you haven't raised children nor have you been married.
    After studying comparative social comparative history and goverments for over 20 years,I don't buy your libertatian ideology either.
    It is just an ideology-a belief not based on facts.

      1. It doesn'matter what I earn. The problem is Randy's logic and values.
        Warren Buffett is a Democrat and he has asked for Congress to increase his taxes.

        1. I see that you studied social history and governments.
          Have you compared the taxes of different countries?
          And if you did, isn't it true that Norway has the highest taxes in the world?
          Can you tell me the percentage?
          Remember to include Income taxes, Value Added Taxes, Indirect taxes, Health Insuarance Taxes, etc.

          It would be interesting to know what would be expected of Americans to get "free healthcare" and "free education"...I mean, how much in taxes would they have to pay to get the "free" stuff.

  29. I read (some of) the reply posts in this feed & found it interesting how certain people seem so attached to the idea of their views that they clung to verbiage and definitions and technicalities to justify their views and somehow associated this blog post with political views and ideals.

    Regardless of the definitions, verbiage and technicalities it cannot be argued that one must first BE the change they wish to see in the world. One cannot save a drowning man if he himself does not know how to swim. As someone mentioned in their reply - there is a logical reason why the flight attendants on planes urge us in the case of an emergency to put our own oxygen masks on before attempting to save a child next to us. Without our own oxygen we will not be able to stay alive long enough to find the child's mask at all. We cannot detoxify our planet without first detoxifying ourselves etc.

    We cannot have world peace without first having inner peace and this post and it's replies make that point perfectly - which I am grateful for. The reaction of ego to a mind-changing concept is simply the lack of that inner peace & a signal of that lack feeding the fires of justifying the idea serving others in order to satisfy the inadequacies within the self as was mentioned in Randy's post. It is interesting how the replies make the point of the post most perfectly.

    It reminds me of a time in my life where someone told me that I take things personally. I replied with gusto, "NO I DON'T!!" and all they had to do was smile and simply say... "see". My reply had made their point perfectly.

    I agree with Randy's post - a person can call it being whiffle-ballish or gasnorpinfigling but in the end the concept remains the same. We must first love & care for ourselves before we are truly able to do it for others & to "serve" others without having first served the self is nothing more than a toxic mimic of the ego-driven moralistic junk we are taught all our lives. In the end being "selfish" in the manner Randy describes will remove the need for much of the "handouts" someone else mentioned in an earlier reply. If we all actually take care of our SELF without regard for others in a way that went beyond just simply living & paying our bills this world would be an entirely different place.

    There is nothing selfish about BEING the Change we wish to see in the world nor is there anything self righteous about it. There is something selfish/self-righteous about reaction rather than action - in the sense that one tends to be purely motivated by little (& sometimes big) sparks within the ego that threaten to turn our comfort levels and beliefs on edge & the other by nature prompts at the very least thought before it begins if not true self-reflection, consideration and contemplation.

    There is a reason why the kind of service we all hear about as being the best kind is called self-LESS & the best way to get to that point is to remove the SELF (i.e. the EGO driven self) and in order to do that we must first recognize and get to know the SELF which is in turn SELF-ish. It's all a big catch22 when you think about it but it comes down to the fact that no one can truly be self-LESS without first being SELF-ish & to attempt being self-less before actually accomplishing self-ishness (per the definition Randy has proposed) is actually more selfish (per the commonly accepted definition) than anything else we can do.

    I love how posts like these give some of us the chance to be exposed a bit more to our ego-self when that inner part of us jumps out in his/her ego driven and emotional glory. If we are quick enough we can trap him/her in a mirror/magnifying glass and remove him/her with some tweezers. LOL

  30. The panic that seems to arise from even the idea of "selfishness" in some people is interesting to me; having said that, I am glad you defined it here. Great stuff!

  31. There seems to be a little confusion about the horse-&-cart, re low self esteem and "giving". Low self esteem comes first; give-give-giving then supports & fosters the low self esttem.
    It appears that low self-esteem is supported by our all-time favourite victim story, the one that is so danged hard to release, the one that says, "I had a (negative adjective) childhood."
    Do I really really have to let go of that victim story? It's my FAVE! It's so True! It's so.....counterproductive.

    Cheers, Mrs. H&P

  32. Great message - I totally agree that you have to start with yourself. There's an enormous detriment to your wellbeing as well as your self-esteem if you spend your days trying to please everyone else. I'm all for a life of service, but you have to be completely meeting all of your own physical, emotional and spiritual needs first. In order to truly help another human being, you must be in full working order yourself. In order to love another person, you must be completely in love with yourself.

    Great, hard-hitting stuff.

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  • 65 comments on “How You Save the World”

    1. I'm completely on board with you, Randy, as far as what I profess. Of course, I'm still continuously aligning my actions to what I claim verbally to be my truth. Great post!

    2. This is one of the best explanations of being self-ish, and the ramifications of chronic "do-gooding" that I've ever read. Thoroughly enjoyed! Thanks Randy.

    3. RG,
      I was thinking of you as I was flying back from Atlanta, Ga. The flight attendant holds the oxygen that drops from the ceiling and tells you to put it on you before you kid. That is because if you pass out there is no one to take care of your kid who will also pass out. Sounda hard but it re-inforces that in order to help we have to be in the position.

      The people that are martyr's and co-dependents who are suffering needlessly are just crying for help. They are looking to suck you into their web. The help comes at the expense of making them look good, or display to the world and universe that they are truly good and are sacrificing.

      I do not mean that a father doesn't get a second job to pay for the kids schooling. That is responsibility, not lack of selfishness.

      Thanks,
      Jim

    4. Randy...this is a worthy discussion but I am convinced a huge part of the drama and rhetoric you are saying should be "dialed down" is due to the word you chose to elevate: selfishness. Sure, you have featured a generic dictionary definition to portray a milder interpretation. But the fact is...the word selfish in an inherently negative word and concept in English. The battle raging in the blog is not necessarily about the appropriateness of putting yourself first...but of making the word mean something that it has never really meant in our society. It's an Alice in Wonderland moment in a way. I think it was the Mad Hatter who said words should mean whatever we want them to mean. But that isn't the case. I actually think you are promoting a different idea than appropriate selfishness. I think it is more about self primacy. I think your idea is simply (though not easily) a determination to pursue first meeting your own needs. That does not mean that the pursuit of your needs be done at the expense of others or with an a sneering spiteful disregard for others (which is what the connotation of selfishness in our society has). Instead, I think you are saying one should pursue meeting one's own needs regardless of whether others negative neediness would attempt to preclude you from that. To me, that is quite different from selfishness.

          1. Amen Victoria. We can package it any way we want to project away from ourselves, but it always come back to, as Randy says, who was always at the scene of the crime? I know it's not just as easy as saying that and I think that this blog is helpful to recognize these things about ourselves that we need to stop running from and take responsibility and identify with. But when the rubber meets the road, we will all come to the conclusion that it's all about us FIRST. We must take responsibility for everything good or bad that we do and work towards improving from there. The fact that people are taking the time on this blog to evaluate is a begining but it won't eliminate the ultimate, which is looking in the mirror, accepting responsibility in a TRUTHFUL way and working forward to improve each and every day in each and every way.

    5. Randy,
      I ordered the Rand book from the library this week and shall have it soon. Thanks for the reminder to read it. This is a great post and all I can say is - thank you, brother.
      John

    6. Keep it coming. The Truth will set the World Free. Or at least a few people willing to actually look at it from a Spiritual perspective

    7. Well, I just can't imagine who you are talking about!?! 🙂 lol Oh Randy you poor guy, I get so angry with you, and you truly have no idea why.

      If you want to call me a drama queen with major worthiness issues, I accept. However, please understand at least part of the real reason for my anger. It is fine to say all you have said, and I agree with you about taking care of yourself first, before you can save the world. I know from personal experience, and yes I am sure to many I looked like an altruistic saint, maybe. (And I wasn't.)

      It is important though that you realize all my ranting is about your use of a philosophy that also leads to certain set of political beliefs, along with such an important concept as learning how to get our own needs met.

      I have used this blog to escape dealing with my own issues, it doesn't make me horrible. Just human. And I have said things I shouldn't. I don't want to look at this as a battle anymore. Really, I agree it is an important message. I just wished you had delivered it differently. I think it was a mistake the way you are going about it.

      It will still help people and even me. But, I want to say Ayn Rand might be a little outdated. Her word usage probably keeps lots of people from following her. "Without regards for others", does imply a negative. It means doing what is in your own best interest at the expense of others. That is negative. It is a stretch to find the positive. I'm not saying you can't. But really, think about it. What you really need to say is, doing what makes you happy without regards for others APPROVAL. It is our need for approval we need to be rid of. Not regard for others.

      Ayn Rand made sense in the context of her time and her life. She still has much wisdom to offer, but wow did she make some big boo boos too. Using the term "selfishness" was probably one of them.

      If you care about the disadvantaged, please realise that sometimes they need handouts to later be productive. And, look at the times we live in and the America we live in. You cannot take a philosophical stance like objectivism and apply it to the many serious and complex issues of poverty and freedom, without first dealing with the realities that are before us.

      Also, Ayn Rand might have us believe evil is not seeing that there are only absolutes and only rational thoughts leading to good. It is not entirely true. Emotions help us make rational decisions sometimes. Objectivisim in and of it self is subjective.

      I want to say one more thing too. I am a constantly growing and changing person. I am not sure what true self order looks like, but I know even in a disordered state I helped many people. I didn't save the world, but even in neurotic turmoil I brought some love and care to others.

      I am afraid if I keep waiting to be perfect and self ordered I will never get off my ass and do some good for me or anyone else.

      I hate being mad at you. I get angry because I'm angry with you. Really, I am so happy when we agree.

      Annie

      1. Hi Annie- You make a great point that it is our need for approval that we need to get rid of. It's a killer in so many ways.

        With regard to being mad and angry with Randy, you may want to examine that. Nothing outside of yourself can cause you to be bothered, mad or angry. It's something inside of you, not with Randy or anyone/any thing else.

      2. Annie, I completely agree with you... I agree that we must care about our own needs and happiness before we worry about others, but not at the expense of others. Promoting "selfishness" can be taken the wrong way by people. It's important to becareful about what words you use because people will most often use the definition that's most commonly accepted... Those are the same people who refuse to help other nations in need when disasters strike, because they believe we should be helping our own (Americans) instead of anyone else. They're the ones who are quick to ask "what have they done for us?"... The true definition of selfish, in my opinion. I think we should help those who are the most in need first. It makes me feel good to know that I've made the world a better place for someone else, even if my own life isn't 100% in order. I don't neglect myself, but anytime spent helping others is always taking time away that you could be investing towards yourself and your family. Most of all, It gives me a greater purpose- if that's "selfish," then so be.

    8. I grew up with a mother with a narcissistic personality.Know about it?Favourise one child,destroy the other.I was the other...Still today I have difficulties to make decisions,to choose between things,I have no real personal taste and absolutely no selfconfidence.In fact I had absolutely nothing when I was old enough to live on my own.And the lack you have programmed in your brain is so deeply down you sometimes wonder if you will ever be the one you want.But I am working on it.Grow up with that kind of parent(and the other one alchoholic)is like being member of a sect your whole childhood.Today I try to have nothing to do with them.In every decision I shall make their oppinions is always like an echo in the head.And my exhusband was the same.I am happy to be alive.But not always.Sometimes I want to die and start it all over again with other parents.But I have a son now,and it is difficult too with my background.Thank god I found you and all these positive people.And I totally agree YOU HAVE TO take care of yourself first even if it is as difficult as it is for some.Love your posts

      1. Hi Mo- The best thing you can do for yourself is to forgive your parents and all others in your life. Don't do this for them, do it for yourself. Check out Colin Tipping's Radical Forgiveness. And forgive yourself.

        1. Thank you! I started with Colin T and it gave a very strong reaction.I had stomach ache for two hours.I will continue to work with forgiveness,I guess I have a lot to do there.Lately,my health has been so bad and I guess this can help a lot.Thanks Joe,I appreciate it!

    9. Okay, I have one more thing to say. I was selfish on yesterday's post. It was selfish to write such an angry post, and I did because it served my anger without regards to you or anyone else. Not so nice huh?

      1. Being selfish and being self-righteous are two different things. Yesterdays post was full of a lot of accusations and those always comes from a place of self righteousness.

        Jeanne

        1. I will assume you have experience with that Jeanne since you have also made accusations on this blog. However, sometimes an accusation of a wrong doing is approiate. My self-righteousness was not the problem, it was the way I delivered it. The way I delivered it was selfish.

          Thanks for your kind attempt at clarification.

          Annie

    10. Here I thought I was doing pretty well with selfishness, personal growth, worthiness issues and I actually caught myself "forced"(no-one can make me do something unless I put myself in that situation)into doing something I did not want to, then caught myself manipulating others to be miserable just because I was.... Shame on me, we all were miserable together when I actually had the choice of "not doing" and I would have been happy and I dare say the others would have too. If I had been selfish and looked after me first, then I, and the world around me, would have been in a better place!

      Thanks for the continued exposure to personal growth and development. As good as we are now we can be better. Those around us need us to be, so they too can prosper!

      1. Brian- Be kind to yourself. And NEVER say, "shame on me." That's an evil phrase that kills our worthiness. We're playing this human game and screwing up is part of it. Learn from it, smile, and move on.

    11. Everyone has so many strengths Randy, no matter what position they are in at any given time. It is going to help anyone to call them "fucked up".

      Let's just love each other where we are.

      Needs and wants are a funny thing, sometimes they are difficult to discern. Know that many times in life we do things to meet our needs and wants and other's needs and wants as well.

      There is a fine line between everything seemingly opposite and we only know inside ourselves what we are truly doing and why. Sometimes our survival skills help us sometimes it hurts us. Sometimes it brings us to the brink of death and other times it renews our life and others.

      I don't think you are against helping the disadvantaged, at least not in your way of thinking. But your words have power, because you do. Your power to inspire others in a certain direction, can indirectly negatively impact the disadvantaged. In my opinion.

      I will not know what is truly in your heart, only you do. I shouldn't have been so harsh yesterday.

    12. The most selfless people spend the most time working on themselves.

      Enlightened souls spent significant amounts of time in quiet, alone, contemplating One-ness until they stopped identifying with their ego, their feelings and thoughts.

      Their extended forrays into quiet would be viewed as selfish by many who don't understand how "Me-Time" creates truly noteworthy people and accomplishments. I'm glad they were selfish...bettered humanity as a whole.

      Thanks for sharing Randy!

      RB

    13. Randy, now I understand that we do not disagree. While I chose my mentor. Please, when you see we do not understand the issue, help us to steer the topic. If we judge before understanding, how we learn to understand?
      Thanks for clarifying your meaning of selfishness, because I fully agree with that definition. I fully agree when you say that many try to devote his life to helping others to avoid seeing their own reality and escape his own life. That was my past, but that will not be my future. Agree: "You can not help anyone if you do not first help yourself".
      I know many who want to fix the lives of others having a mess in their own life.
      I agree that many using religion have caused disasters in the life of the people.
      I know many who have condemned the prosperity of the people through religion.
      I know many who have shown only limited by religion.
      I know many that have negatively influenced the lives of other people using religion.
      I know many who use religion to subjugate the minds and hearts of others, only for their own benefit.
      Some of these cases I have experienced firsthand on me. This is not what i want for me, or anyone around me.
      I agree when you say that first one has to "fix himself" before trying to "fix another." I agree 100%.
      I think many did not understand the meaning you gave to the word selfish. I found it contradictory coming from you, when every day I see you're trying to help our growth, that would not do a selfish. My definition of selfishness is: a person who is only concerned with self-interest and completely forget all about him, not helping anyone, having the tools and knowledge to do it without sacrificing even a second of time for others. A selfish person (in my definition) would not have done what you did with your call to help with Japan! A few dyas ago. I am really glad that you clarified your definition, because I keep thinking I'm in a good way with a good mentor.
      If you have felt judged by my comment, I apologize, because it was never my intention to judge you or anyone else. No one should judge anyone. My questions always point to remove my ignorance and know the path I am traveling and who I have chosee as a mentor. When I learn, I am asking is to remove my ignorance.
      I am not better than anyone, nor do I believe that no one is more than me, we all have the same value as human beings, although we are at different levels of preparation, the level of preparation does not detract the value we have.
      Took some time reading your page and other books, regardless of my religious beliefs have also noticed that I grow as a person, both together, that's what I want, because I believe that to truly grow inside me, I can be of real help to others. A hug
      PS: If I had read Rand's book before commenting on yesterday's post, maybe I would understand you better. Although I have not read, but I'm going to read it.
      PS2: I have also begun a process of personal coaching for deep analysis.

    14. I totally agree. You have to start with yourself first. You have to be comfortable with yourself to be able to give value to others.

    15. Right on, my friend.

      As the son of a bonafide Florence Nightingale, I am genetically predisposed to help others...even when at a potential significant cost to my own health and welfare.

      My dear friend Cheryl Richardson recently wrote an excellent book, the Art of Extreme Self Care, that finally tuned me into the importance of building a foundation for helping others by first taking great care of one's self.

      There is sound reason why we are told on airplanes to "put on your own oxygen mask first." We can't help others if we have effectively killed our self.

      Extreme self care is NOT a license to ignore the needs of others...at least not for myself. Instead, it is a concept that is a MUST for all those committed to a life of service.

      Thank you for the profound thoughtfulness of this post. I expect that you may "save" some wonderful people who risk their ability to be of maximum service to the world because they have not paid enough attention to first caring for, and about, themselves.

      Sooo appreciate the great wisdom that you so consistently share on this blog.

      1. Dave- Be careful believing you are "genetically predisposed to helping others." Scientifically this isn't possible. You may have been programmed this way while being raised, however, we can chanage our programming to be more supportive..

        1. Appreciate the concern...I hope that you dont read everything I said (and say in the future) quite so literally. My mother is not per se a Florence Nightingale, and there obviously is no such gene (or at least not one yet discovered).

          Again, I do appreciate your genuine concern.

          Want to assure you that I am captain of my ship, CEO of me, and chief programmer of my mind. My past (which has been very good) does not control my future. 🙂

    16. I'm with you 100%. Its the same as when the airlines tell you to put your mask on first then help others. If you don't, then you become one of the others those who put their masks on first have to help!

      Plus it takes the judgmental focus out of the way. If you're busy getting your life in order, you are not watching what someone else is doing. Now you have nothing to gossip about! 🙂

    17. Randy, thanks helping clarify what Rand means.

      Some of what she says is upsetting, it's so against what "normal" is. It's even been psychopathic in some circles.

      Ideally though, she would want us to look objectively at even what she says.

    18. now i am upset that i have been out of the loop for a couple of months. carrying on doing other things, and not checking up on your blog.
      and here you were, posting my MOST FAV TOPICS EVER!!!
      i mean, The Virtue of Selfishness.....one of my all time most favorite books. ahhh...to be a part of the discourse on THAT post.
      anyway....so, i think you explained everything away fairly well in this one.
      the thing is, in my opinion, those that would castigate you for implying that selfishness is a good thing, are the same ones that suffer from the lack mentality you address in THIS post. the ones that value themselves so little that they only serve others.
      altruism is a really nasty disease.
      i mean, to elevate anyone, indiscriminately, above yourself.....thats awful.
      and they might say "it is just concern for my fellow man"....but that philosophy is so dangerous...cuz, it may START with your neighbors, but where does it end? your brother has a higher right to life than you...ok, fine, you love your brother that much....your neighbor?...ok, maybe you guys are close...but, strangers? rapists, murderers, anybody. the altruist elevates the right to life and happiness of everyone above hisself. this is downright dastardly.
      as far as selfishness having a negative connotation in the english language...i believe this is only because of the religious institutions and their effective indoctrination....but, we aren't here to discuss religion.
      anyway, rational self interest....i.e. selfishness. its rational, logical, reasonable...and guess what folks?...
      NECESSARY FOR SUCCESS!
      This reminds me of the time i posted a status update about how i was upset that the Obama administration wanted to give tax breaks to everyone except those who made over $250k a year. to which my lack minded FB friends replied about how sickening they thought it was that anyone could be as rich as Bill Gates and have all the nice things he has...which they claimed "he doesn't need."
      sadly, if you ask them how much they have donated in time and money to charity in their LIFE it wouldn't amount to a fraction (combined) of the good the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has done the world.
      but, alas. i can try to do as you do, and lead them to the water, but if they wish not to drink...they can die of dehydration right at the river bank. so be it.

    19. Helping others when you can - good. Sacrificing yourself for others - bad. Not to mention crazy.

    20. Randy - You are absolutely, positively AMAZING - in that you are able to keep coming up with such heavy duty & mentally deep "stuff" - please don't stop now - you are definitely on a roll my man! Thank YOU!

    21. Let me clarify something I may not have explained very well. I'm ALL for being "true" to oneself, not pretending to be someone they're not, in order to keep others happy. I scoff at the status quo and tend to be a bit unconventional myself... A critic and a realist. But also an optimist. I don't agree with living in unhappiness and under a facade to keep others happy, but when it comes to humanitarian efforts and goodwill, that's where I choose to go with the word "selfless" instead of "selfish". True humanitarian work entitles the absence of any personal gain or bias. I don't think people like Mother Teresa and Ghandi- people who put others before themselves- were as Randy said, "fucked up". That's quite a judgemental thing to say.

    22. I must say that I think Randy is spot on with this one. I have the tire marks on my back to prove it. How to save the world? It's not my job. I don't mean that in an insensitive way any more than when I say I am selfish. Any of you that follow my comments know that I study the bible and believe it to be total truth. the bible tells us all how it will end. I'm not in charge of the end of the world, only my contribution to it.... which compliments Randy's last post. It all starts with us. I am so sick and tired of the entitlement mentality that puts the buck on everyone else. I can tell you that I take full responsibility for F..... (sorry can't say it like Randy, badddd boy.. did.) up my life and making CHOICES that took me to where I went. I get it, thank God.. When I leave this world, my heart will be judged just like every one else's and I choose to grow my heart as big as I can while I am here. The bank account will be left behind hopefully to people who will do good with it but I intend to leave an example behind of what living a godly life does to expand and change the world. Truthfully, I can't wait till this world ends. I sometimes wonder if we won't find out that we have been living in hell when we finally get to heaven.

    23. After reading some of these comments, I am pretty sure I am glad to disagree with you.

      You have lots of independent people on your side Randy. Pray you never really need anyone Big Guy.

      I love my fucked up altruistic Obama lovin' self.

      I also love so many dissenting opinions, because it is probably the only way to find balance.

      Randy, I don't mean to have so many posts, but I process information pieces at a time. You don't have to be maladjusted to believe in the "greater good". Doing for the greater good is profitable for everyone. The greater good means it benefits all. You could turn your statement around and say that not helping the "greater good" is harmful to the individual. Love is what motivates us to help others. Love for ourselves and love for others.

      You can love yourself and take care of another's needs before your own. You make the decision out of love. It is self loving too, because you get to feel the experience of love. The romantics believe to love another, is to see the face of God. That does not mean all love requires giving without receiving. Sometimes love does though.

      I know what you mean. By this post. Saving the world is a complicated subject. Let's talk about Martin Luther King Jr. He gave so much and most likely neglected many of his own needs. Is he dastardly and fucked up? I mean truly he is a martyr.

      Not everyone, but some people, thank goodness, have such loyalty to their ideals and causes they would die for it. Does this make them fucked up? Maybe. Maybe not. Think about the people who have done that and how much we have benefited. Do you have one thing in your life you would die for?

      It is an assumption to suggest that all people are depraved in putting others above themselves.

      If you are talking about unhealthy interpersonal relationships, that could be different. But, I still stick by the notion there are strengths and benefits even in an unhealthy relationship. That is not to say stay in bad relationships, but one has to ask "what I am I getting from it?". Maybe at the time it is something important. I bring this up because you have been throwing codependency out there, and I think that mostly relates to relationships with other people, not our entire role in society.

      So I take it you think I'm fucked up. I have said it once here and I will say it again. You may be right, I may be crazy, but I just might be the lunatic your looking for. 🙂

      After the nastiness we have exchanged, I am still not ready to leave just yet. I will work on the temper. I think we should both cut out the public humiliations. Just a thought.

      Annie

        1. Mother Theresa, I wonder what she thought of Ayn Rands philosophy?

          Do you think Mother Theresa was a moral objectivist, believing that altruism was evil?

          Hmmm, I wonder.

        2. Anyway, I am glad you like Mother Theresa. Why don't you beat the drum for her books and philosophy. I think we would argue less. 🙂

    24. enlightened selfishness - at all levels this is the certain way to make devour the joy of living you in all aspects that this life experience caused you to desire, and also impact everything around you by giving more life to them(you) if it's about money you give them more in use value than you receive in monetary valuer, but by giving more the individual gets a good deal and he will most probably buy more from you, tell other, and give that value thru good marketing and business system to enough people that you get all that you desire, in love the same - accept only the best - only the partner that is a match for what your complete desires so that loving them comes naturally and receiving love from them comes naturally --- of course the last things mentioned are at the ego level - but are most congruent to you're wholeness

    25. A friend of mine just turned me on to you just the other day but, I actually just met you briefly a couple weeks ago at the NY New Life Expo! Never question divine interevention - I beleive we will meet again for the greater of humanity! Now - for what I really have to say is regarding your blog is this...If you take apart the word, selfish what do you get? Self Is. If you don't know who your true self is how can you help yourself, your friends/family or for that matter...help the greater of humanity? You must find who your true self is and nurture it, feed it and love it in order to truly help others. If you are
      selfis(h)(within one's self) then you can not be the opposite which is selfless. If this were a world of self less people it would be a world much worse than it is. Sure greed, resentment, anger - that can come from anyone - whether they are selfish or not. What matters is what is really in control here. Is it the Ego or is it the heart? If you feed your heart with selfishness you nuture and feed not only your "self of that which is" but also that and the world world around you through the energy of passion and compassion. However, if you only serve and feed your mind then you serve only yourself and that which is your ego. If this is the case then there is no connectivity to all that is around you. If you live in complete balance and harmony between the two then you ultimatly serve your self and all that is around you. And so it is. I look forward to more of your blogs.
      Funny, my website and book ihave a similar photo as the picture above...www.2012motherearth.com

    26. Hello, Randy,

      Another provocative post….Good—it engenders a lot of critical thinking. And I think that is the point.

      In my own actual life experience, I have found that most of the people who are all about “serving others” seem to assume some aura of moral superiority by doing this. Sometimes their “moral superiority” even comes because they are “CONCERNED” about the needs and difficulties of others without doing anything in real-life to help them.

      These are just my observations over 5 decades of interacting with and observing people.

      I think Wallace Wattles put it well…if you are not rich, the most “good” you can do in the world is limited to your own one- on-one activity. By becoming rich (is this selfish??), your scope of really helping others increases exponentially.

      Very interesting discussion….Thank you!

    27. Randy,

      You said it so well. It took me 3/4 of my life to realize I had to look after myself first or I was no good to anyone.

      There are many selfish people out there that even after they look after themselves, still won't help anyone. That's a completely different situation.

      I have a friend who never puts herself first and talks like a victim. It's so frustrating to see her act like this and I've told her man times.

      Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

      Connie

    28. Just because you believe something doesn't make it real. It is only been 500 years since Humans believe the Earth was flat. It has only been 150 years since blacks were free in the U.S and women have the right to vote.
      This idea that because you make money you made it is just another belief. A belief that says I am heading to the graveyard consuming as much as I can just like a cow is going to the slaughtered house while a farmer plays bandyard music.
      For me your argument is one of duality is either you made it on your own,which nobody can, or you are a loser.
      It also assumes that the power of corporation is just an extension of an individual.
      Expanding your argument,we can see the great pain and suffering in Mexico where the richest person in the world lives. While Norwegians pay the second highest taxes in the world and nobody is starving,everyone can to college,everyone has universal health insurance and the unemployment rate is 3.5%. And they are multi-millionaries in the country.
      Your dualistic argument is moot. It is just a belief.
      The norwegian trust fund is now at $525 billions which is shared with everyone in the country. On the other hand,Exxon made $18 billions in 2009 and they got a refund for $150 millions. GE did not pay taxes in 2010.
      The sad part of this ideology is that most of the wealth in the nation is been created in California and New York-states that have higher taxes- not Florida and Alabama.
      You can always move to Haiti. They don't have a goverment.
      I might listen to what you have to say about prosperity and building a succeful NM but surely you have no credibility on raising children,or been married because you haven't raised children nor have you been married.
      After studying comparative social comparative history and goverments for over 20 years,I don't buy your libertatian ideology either.
      It is just an ideology-a belief not based on facts.

        1. It doesn'matter what I earn. The problem is Randy's logic and values.
          Warren Buffett is a Democrat and he has asked for Congress to increase his taxes.

          1. I see that you studied social history and governments.
            Have you compared the taxes of different countries?
            And if you did, isn't it true that Norway has the highest taxes in the world?
            Can you tell me the percentage?
            Remember to include Income taxes, Value Added Taxes, Indirect taxes, Health Insuarance Taxes, etc.

            It would be interesting to know what would be expected of Americans to get "free healthcare" and "free education"...I mean, how much in taxes would they have to pay to get the "free" stuff.

    29. I read (some of) the reply posts in this feed & found it interesting how certain people seem so attached to the idea of their views that they clung to verbiage and definitions and technicalities to justify their views and somehow associated this blog post with political views and ideals.

      Regardless of the definitions, verbiage and technicalities it cannot be argued that one must first BE the change they wish to see in the world. One cannot save a drowning man if he himself does not know how to swim. As someone mentioned in their reply - there is a logical reason why the flight attendants on planes urge us in the case of an emergency to put our own oxygen masks on before attempting to save a child next to us. Without our own oxygen we will not be able to stay alive long enough to find the child's mask at all. We cannot detoxify our planet without first detoxifying ourselves etc.

      We cannot have world peace without first having inner peace and this post and it's replies make that point perfectly - which I am grateful for. The reaction of ego to a mind-changing concept is simply the lack of that inner peace & a signal of that lack feeding the fires of justifying the idea serving others in order to satisfy the inadequacies within the self as was mentioned in Randy's post. It is interesting how the replies make the point of the post most perfectly.

      It reminds me of a time in my life where someone told me that I take things personally. I replied with gusto, "NO I DON'T!!" and all they had to do was smile and simply say... "see". My reply had made their point perfectly.

      I agree with Randy's post - a person can call it being whiffle-ballish or gasnorpinfigling but in the end the concept remains the same. We must first love & care for ourselves before we are truly able to do it for others & to "serve" others without having first served the self is nothing more than a toxic mimic of the ego-driven moralistic junk we are taught all our lives. In the end being "selfish" in the manner Randy describes will remove the need for much of the "handouts" someone else mentioned in an earlier reply. If we all actually take care of our SELF without regard for others in a way that went beyond just simply living & paying our bills this world would be an entirely different place.

      There is nothing selfish about BEING the Change we wish to see in the world nor is there anything self righteous about it. There is something selfish/self-righteous about reaction rather than action - in the sense that one tends to be purely motivated by little (& sometimes big) sparks within the ego that threaten to turn our comfort levels and beliefs on edge & the other by nature prompts at the very least thought before it begins if not true self-reflection, consideration and contemplation.

      There is a reason why the kind of service we all hear about as being the best kind is called self-LESS & the best way to get to that point is to remove the SELF (i.e. the EGO driven self) and in order to do that we must first recognize and get to know the SELF which is in turn SELF-ish. It's all a big catch22 when you think about it but it comes down to the fact that no one can truly be self-LESS without first being SELF-ish & to attempt being self-less before actually accomplishing self-ishness (per the definition Randy has proposed) is actually more selfish (per the commonly accepted definition) than anything else we can do.

      I love how posts like these give some of us the chance to be exposed a bit more to our ego-self when that inner part of us jumps out in his/her ego driven and emotional glory. If we are quick enough we can trap him/her in a mirror/magnifying glass and remove him/her with some tweezers. LOL

    30. The panic that seems to arise from even the idea of "selfishness" in some people is interesting to me; having said that, I am glad you defined it here. Great stuff!

    31. There seems to be a little confusion about the horse-&-cart, re low self esteem and "giving". Low self esteem comes first; give-give-giving then supports & fosters the low self esttem.
      It appears that low self-esteem is supported by our all-time favourite victim story, the one that is so danged hard to release, the one that says, "I had a (negative adjective) childhood."
      Do I really really have to let go of that victim story? It's my FAVE! It's so True! It's so.....counterproductive.

      Cheers, Mrs. H&P

    32. Great message - I totally agree that you have to start with yourself. There's an enormous detriment to your wellbeing as well as your self-esteem if you spend your days trying to please everyone else. I'm all for a life of service, but you have to be completely meeting all of your own physical, emotional and spiritual needs first. In order to truly help another human being, you must be in full working order yourself. In order to love another person, you must be completely in love with yourself.

      Great, hard-hitting stuff.

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