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Op-Ed: Selfishness Has Replaced Concern For Others

File photo: Olesia Bilkei, Shutter Stock, licensed.
Our society has gone from helping others in the community and the family to the self-actualization of an individual. In our current culture, the focus is on the concerns of the individual. File photo: Olesia Bilkei, Shutter Stock, licensed.

SPRING HILL, FL – In the recent past most of us were instructed by our parents and other authorities to be polite to others. As a person grew into adulthood, they were supposed to be more sensitive to the needs of the less fortunate. Anyone with a handicap, such as an elder losing their faculties, immobility of an infant, physically disabled, or mentally disabled person were not to be taken advantage of, ridiculed or shunned. It was expected that healthy individuals who were blessed with all their faculties and good health were morally obliged to assist the less fortunate.

Our society has gone from helping others in the community and the family to the self-actualization of an individual. In our current culture, the focus is on the concerns of the individual. The me-generation of the 1960s has passed on their message to their children and grandchildren that the best and brightest should focus solely on themselves to get ahead. The emphasis is on how to make decisions that affect their ability to get ahead financially, not what is best for others.

The self-centered perspective has made it difficult to develop unity. The past breakdown of the patriarchal family and currently the nuclear family is dissolving at a frightening pace into serial/open marriages. These fragmented families have fewer members living in the home with the children. Often there is a single parent who often works long hours to maintain a previous lifestyle. The result is the child being profoundly influenced by social media. This can lead them into the perverse world of too many choices without adult guidance. When online many of these children are being lectured by deviant adults or radicalized peers.

This lack of adult guidance leaves youngsters devoid of caring for the needs of others besides themselves. The lack of one parent or the other leaves a vacuum in perspective by a particular parent who spends minimal or no time with the child. Extended families: grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who no longer enter the child’s world remove life lesson the child never receives. Our children are not seeing adults caring for their loved ones in their homes. Presently the ill or infirm are in facilities that isolate them from sharing insights with their loved ones.


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These lessons are not necessarily formal ones but lessons nevertheless that should be considered. Small considerations such as giving an older person help in getting up, allowing someone to go first instead of rushing in front of them, waiting until a person finishes speaking verbal pleasantries like “good day,” complimenting a person on how nice they look should be encouraged. Today many youngsters are rude, and many adults disregard the obvious and helpful pleasantries that would assist others and can even be cruel.

A society that has lost its compassion for others is losing its soul. The inability to help others when in need means individuals have lost their humanity in a fiendish craving to get ahead. People who do not pass on their understanding and love to others are takers, not givers. As more people become like this the culture becomes more and more hedonistic. People join groups (tribes) that reinforce their selfish pleasures and isolates them from responsibility for anyone else who might need them. These pleasure seekers remove themselves from the reality that they will need others in the later stages of their lives.

Towards the inevitable end of their lives, they will realize they lost many opportunities to help others that could have made a positive difference in the person’s life and their own. They are not givers who add goodness to society but often become bitter to kind people who helped others by their example.

Selfishness is not a virtue; it is a sin as it is not an act of making the lives of others better. Selfishness leaves a dying person without memories that would warm their heart but only leaves them a sense of emptiness from a life that could have been very different. People beginning to become takers are witnessing the emptiness of others who have taken the same selfish path.

Many givers who never felt their life was anything special are also seeing that the people who constantly repeated their financial and social climbing accomplishments have few people who really love them. These woke, self-centered individuals often end up in institutions with no close, loving visitors. Self-aggrandizement on earth is not a way to get to a place in the highest level of love and peace. 

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