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The word "selfish" has a bad rap. I get it. Being "concerned chiefly or only with yourself" seems like kind of an asshole move, but is that always the case? I don't think so. The "Screw you, suckers!" variety of selfishness deserves its critics, but what about the kind of selfishness that simply means you're putting yourself first?
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Unconditional love is hard, it can be uncomfortable and frustrating at times, but in the end I believe it will be the most rewarding practice you can do for yourself and select loved ones. I say select loved ones, as this type of love doesn't mean to neglect self-care or selfishness.
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Think of the numerous benefits people would have if they concentrated on their own well-being before judging, comparing or "helping" others. Shouldn't we try to set an example and live a healthy lifestyle so others can, too? Is being selfish really that selfish?
I like being selfish. I'm not sure when it came to be a bad word, but to me, it's always spoken of the power of self-confidence. Of knowing what you want, what makes you happy, and making that happen for yourself.
You may recall that in a previous Huff Post story, I reported that my good friend Phil, a 50-something Richmond Hill accountant, just prior to Christmas, had come to the rescue of his favourite client...
I am sure many of us can think of examples of those who are the "takers" in life. They run their business in a transactional way. I actually feel sorry for people who have a scarcity or competitive attitude because they miss out on so much. As Dr. Ivan Misner advocates, "givers gain."
I grew up in the era of Tough Love. There was no pretending in my home. My mother called it as she saw it, and what she saw wasn't always pretty. I've spent years meticulously choosing politically correct ways of disciplining my children. Now I know exactly where I went wrong.
When I asked people why things are a mess, no one took responsibility for this crappy society we have created. No one said, "Well, I didn't vote so, X was elected." No one said, "Well, I didn't speak up, so X was bullied." Everyone blamed someone or something else.
How is it that we so easily deny ourselves kindnesses and pleasures because we underrate the value of the occasion, or our own value? I've caught myself buying such tiny treats as scented soaps, and then storing them in the closet for when guests arrive. Why do I hesitate to give myself the pleasure?
While I believe one needs to have altruistic tendencies to commit to a volunteer position, I just as firmly believe that some of the most awe-inspiring and powerful examples of volunteerism are often rooted in selfish motives. I believe this because I have witnessed it firsthand.