I reference the Hindi shabdkosh (dictionary) too much, I know, but I like that the language is more nuanced than straightforward English.
Now, respected shabdkosh says, svarth, mane “self seeking”.
More nuanced than selfish, and greater depth than self-centered.
But lets say selfish, since that’s the straightforward thing to say.
Hypothetically, in the caveman era to be selfish was intrinsic to survive, to protect himself he could justify a certain behavior, a certain decision. As an evolved human though, can you use the same “protection of self-interest” logic to rationalize your actions ?
There are reams written about the need for global inclusiveness. And sadly, whilst the basic assumption is that being Indian is unifying enough in the global context, the reality at home is a far cry.
We regularly malign persons different from ourselves without any heed to viewpoints that are out of your own immediate reality. Even considering the humor quotient of regular stereotyping as harmless, the real truth is that a statement repeated often enough will slowly but surely morph into the truth, purely by lack of a counter argument or because its the path of least resistance.
And boy, do we desi’s detest resistance. Change, I think causes more heart strokes in our populace than most other diseases. Contracting critical thinking can get you quarantined faster than Zika.
Independent thought process = dire disrespect + general emotional upheaval.
Like I am betraying people by using the perfectly functional brain God gave me.
I’m being dramatic. Hope I made my point. Moving on.
Yet another example of polarizing views is the ugliness of territorial wars.
North vs South. East vs. Rest. You vs Me. Us vs. Them.
“Local” being the preferred word of choice in the matter. Local like how ? How can you fight over something that does not belong to you, or you, or you ?! And what does belong really mean ? Who is a local anyway ? Does time determine if you belong to a region or not? Is entho-linguistic dissimilarity fair grounds for discrimination ?
If your opinion is justified, so is Donald Trumps’
On the personal front, selfishness is an off shoot of focusing inwards. The harsh truth is, we are all selfish. We will use any logic to justify our actions, we will do anything to protect what we believe is due to us and reject anything that threatens that sense of ownership.
Self serving behavior is not only the most easy to express but also the most easy to recognize defense mechanism. No one means to be hurtful, but in that moment by rejecting the thoughts and emotions of the opposing party, one falsely assumes a sense of comfort in having saved their territory.
Fair enough, but shallow as hell living, isn’t it.
My opinion. And also my personal experience, that the less selfish I am is, the more others are willing to concede of themselves. Out of their own volition.
It is far more rewarding. And far less stressful. D’accord ?