Skip to comments."If everyone is special, then no one is. If everyone gets a trophy, then trophies are ...
Posted on 06/10/2012 3:24:33 PM PDT by bsdsan
"If everyone is special, then no one is. If everyone gets a trophy, then trophies are meaninglessness"
My kids figured that out in 3rd or 4th grade, where everyone was getting an award. They laughed and threw them out.
A point in all directions is no point at all.
Quote from the Pointed Man from the then leftist Harry Nillson et al “The Point” from the ‘60’s.
The memes of the left come back to bite the in their collective butt.
Never forget, you are unique in the universe.
Just like everyone else.
Never forget, you are unique in the universe.
Just like everyone else.
His speech wasn’t bad, but he blew it at the end when he says that “selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself”.
He thus ended his speech in confusion. At one point he espouses the “pursuit of happiness” but at the end he advocates “selflessness”. But if you pursue happiness, who are you pursuing it for if not for yourself?
I believe the world would be a much better place if people were encouraged to take care of themselves first and foremost (and I don’t mean at the expense of others, but in cooperation with others and within the law). This is the way it was until the birth of the welfare state and we see the results where soon the takers will outnumber the producers. The more people take care of themselves the less burden they are to the rest of society. That’s what we should should be preaching - not selflessness.
I get where you are coming from. However.
There is a truly ancient tradition that, "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it."
In fact, this notion is older than Christ, as it was essentially what Gautama Buddha said.
IOW, we will not and cannot find happiness directly by trying to make ourselves happy, or at least most people can't.
We achieve true happiness by forgetting ourselves and working for something other and greater.
This is by no means a leftist concept, though they've taken it over by making the default assumption one that the good of the collective is the higher cause for which we should all work.
“There is a truly ancient tradition that, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it.”
Sounds like a pretty “selfish” statement on the part of the speaker. :) He wants people to lose their lives for HIS sake.
I was also quite shocked to read the following “selfish” statement in the bible...
“You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God (Exodus 20:4-5).”
And aren’t we made in the image of God?
But leaving theology aside for the moment and focusing on “human nature”, what each one of us is motivated by, I don’t think you would disagree that the “pursuit of happiness” (as defined by each one of us) is the driving force behind everything we do.
Since each one of us is different, we each pursue whatever it is that makes us happy. We each look out for our self interest first and foremost.
The thing that the “altruistic” crowd don’t get is that in looking out for our self interest in most instances (and as a byproduct) we also help others.
A businessman will be most successful when he provides a service or product that increases the happiness of his customers. Thus in the process of being “selfish” (watching out for his interest, making himself happy) he makes many others happy. Just think of the millions of people Steve Gates and Steve Jobs enriched and made happy as a byproduct of pursuing their own happiness.
And what about Mother Teresa, you might ask? Was she being “selfish”? My answer would be yes. The thing that drove her to do what she did was that it pained her to see orphaned children suffering, and to relieve HER pain she did what she did, and I’m sure she got lots of joy and satisfaction from helping those kids.
My point is that being “selfish” is not “bad” - it simply IS what we are - it’s a fact of human nature. Another fact of human nature is that we are also “compassionate” - the two are not exclusive. (By the way, the act of compassion itself could be viewed as “selfish” - it feels good helping others.)
I’m not special, I’m merely Super!
I suspect we're saying roughly the same thing but in different ways.
I would contend that Gates and Jobs did not get where they are (or were) by coldly calculating what would bring them the most "stuff." Instead, each had a passion that he pursued, with the accumulation of "stuff" being a by-product of the successful implementation of that passion.
IOW, people who approach things solely with the idea of "what's in it for me personally" are unlikely to be able to inspire others to follow them, a necessary prerequisite for accomplishing just about anything significant. They are also, IMO, unlikely to succeed at achieving happiness.
“I would contend that Gates and Jobs did not get where they are (or were) by coldly calculating what would bring them the most “stuff.” Instead, each had a passion that he pursued, with the accumulation of “stuff” being a by-product of the successful implementation of that passion.
I agree that we’re probably on the same page, though perhaps we may differ a bit on our take on “selfish”. You may see it more narrowly than I do - you seem to restrict it to desiring “stuff”. For me “selfish” means “self interest” and specifically “pursuing what makes you happy”. Thus I fully agree that Jobs, Gates Buffet did what they did not strictly for stuff (though I’m sure that was part of it) but because it’s (the totality of what they did) what made them happy. And that’s “what was in it for them”.
“IOW, people who approach things solely with the idea of “what’s in it for me personally” are unlikely to be able to inspire others to follow them, a necessary prerequisite for accomplishing just about anything significant. They are also, IMO, unlikely to succeed at achieving happiness.”
But that’s not true - you’re hung up with material success as the sole component of “selfishness”. A poet writing his poetry is in heaven - he’s being selfish. An artist in some remote spot painting a beautiful scene is happy - he’s being selfish, a musician making beautiful sounds before an enraptured audience is joyous - all these are “selfish” acts - they do it because it’s what makes them happy - and they don’t need to inspire others to be happy (they may very well do that - but it’s not a necessary condition, it’s mostly an unintentional byproduct).
1. devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.
2. characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself: selfish motives.
Fairly obviously I see the relevant words here as "only" and "regardless." Drop those from the definition and I agree with you.
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