Why Selfishness is Necessary – Thrive Global

The title may conjure up the Ayn Randian philosophy of theVirtue of Selfishness or Atlas Shrugged. The article does take some of AynRands philosophy and apply this to todays life. Altruism as defined byAuguste Comte, calls for living for the sake of others. The belief that one must place the welfare ofothers over our own self-interest. That a person must become a sacrificiallamb and self-sacrifice as a value and duty. Other interests are subordinate to your owninterests and its is ones moral obligation to live life in this manner.

Ayn Rands definition of selfishnessis that a person has the right to live for their own self. It does not mean the person can do whateverthey want. Morality and ethics are partof the societys culture and laws that need to be obeyed. The person has a right to live a life ofreason, purpose and self-esteem.

It is not my intention to uphold or debate the RandianPhilosophy, rather make the point that in order to be altruistic a person mustbe selfish. Lets look at the basic needs of the Altruistic person that need tobe met for the Altruist to help others.

Health. Too often we have seen people neglect theirown health in order to make life easier for others. While this may work in the short term,eventually your disregard for your health will catch up with you. The longhours at the office, the second job, unhealthy eating habits, the striving caregiver. The selfish motive of Altruism should be to place your health above allelse as a rational interest, in order to pursue the unselfish goals.

Wealth. There needs to be enough to meet the basicneeds of the Altruist. We have seen the exemplary charitable behavior of BillGates or Warren Buffet who have more to give than most people can imagine. Inorder for the normal person to contribute either in time or money, both ofwhich are interchangeable, there should be a buffer of wealth that allows theperson to contribute in a meaningful way.

Mental Fortitude. The Altruist needs to develop theappropriate mental strength so they can immerse themselves in the aid ofothers. It means at times taking the selfishstep to devote time and energy in their own mental wellbeing. To feed theirsoul with the rest, reflection and recuperation it needs.

To quote Ayn Rand from the Fountainhead: To say I Love You one must know first how to say the I. The I must be self-aware, self-accepting and strong.

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Why Selfishness is Necessary - Thrive Global

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