The room is filled with the smooth, sensual sound of Anita Baker. You’ve got the candles burning, as the sweet aroma of your chosen incense wafts to your nostrils. You step into the glorious steamy churning water and sink down into your new hot-tub.
The jetting water massages all your aching joints, teasing the tension of the day into a distant memory. You sigh. A deep prolonged release of pleasure as every nerve relaxes into sweet oblivion. You smile to yourself and close your eyes letting the steam and heat envelop you. The phone is turned off and the evening is yours; you won't be disturbed by anyone. The perfect end to a brilliantly rewarding day.
Isn't it deliciously wonderful to be selfish?
Actually, if you’re like most people, the mere thought of doing something selfish for yourself leaves you consumed with guilt.
In fact, selfishness is your moral prerogative, and a necessity not just for your own prosperity, but the whole world.
If it feels so good to be selfish, why does the very word make us flush with guilt? Ayn Rand wrote a book titled, “The Virtue of Selfishness. “ When asked why she chose to use a word that threatened so many people, she replied, “For the reason that makes you afraid of it.”
Like Rand, I also use the word to describe virtuous qualities of character. The dictionary definition of selfishness is basically concern with one's own interests, without regard for others. That means 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, known or unknown, 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.
But don’t think “society” is smart enough to figure that out. They’re not. The herd will maintain that the needs of the individual be relinquished to the needs of the many. They tell you that it is your responsibility to take care of the less fortunate.
(And by the way, don’t take this as a call to ignore those less fortunate. Long time readers will know that I do everything I can to help those less fortunate that I. I just don’t want to do it at the point of a gun, forced into wasteful, bureaucratic and corrupt government programs to do it.)
All of these billions of dollars of government bailouts are even now being couched in these terms and presented as helping the little guy, saving the system, and protecting the greater good. This may be the biggest crock of shit sold to the masses in our lifetime.
Now of course it all sounds innocent enough and well meaning. But the end result will be to enslave millions more people in lack, limitation and mediocrity. That’s what we’ll explore in the next few postings.