We are all basically selfish
What do you think about this statement: “We are all basically selfish“?
Is it true? At the end of the day, are we all only interested in ourselves? Or are some people genuinely selfless and altruistic?
selfish (adjective): having no consideration for other people; being interested in one’s own personal well-being, profit or pleasure
selfless (adjective): having no concern for oneself; unselfish
altruistic (adjective): having consideration for the well-being and lives of other people
By Josef Essberger for EnglishClub December 2011
Josef started teaching English as a foreign language in 1991 and founded EnglishClub for learners and teachers in 1997.
Adil C says:
I agree.Humans are basically selfish . Observe a child .He/ she thinks that the world belongs to him and everything revolves around him .At this stage his mind is innocent and he has little knowledge of the outside world . When he grows up , reason starts to build up in his psyche .and then he realises . To survive in society and to make the place a better world , humans must strike a balance between selfishness and altruism .. Education and religion helps.
Sathish Sathi says:
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why persons are selfish ? it is nature,natures rule.One altruist persons can not live properly. Only few of them have this ability and also one’s doesn’t can be fully a altruist. Only in some occasions only a person can be say he is self fish or altruist. It depend on the situation and occasions.Survival is the fittest. So self fish person survive and altruist person struggle.It is a natural rule, that we are live in a world of eaten and being eaten.Actually altruist means a concept,a person living for others.I already said a person cant be fully altruist or self in this world.Because this is nature and man is a social animal, only degree of character is different form one person to another. So one person is possessing both and this is nature.
I think it is great to be selfish,but in the constructive part of being a person, because it shows people that you are confident, and that no one can pass over you, and that you love your self.
Please kindly suggest me at the errors above. Thank you very much.
Selfishness is common to all of us. Here, we all are working for ourselves at most of the cases. Being selfish is one of the qualities by birth. In-spite of being selfish, we feel pleasure in doing volunteer jobs at our convenience. It would be more better to understand that, the degree of selfishness varies to different individuals, which is obvious in itself.
i am not sure yet, but from what i saw and heard all people are selfish when they got involve in creating a their own family
I’m not sure if my habit is considered as selfish or not. I frankly love my alone time rather than spending time with my friends. But I still socialize with them, like going out for lunch or dinner. But alone time is primary things for me. I hope people won’t be to judgy.
safia dirie says:
I think most of people nowadays are considered selfish .It is reasonable to do what is best for you in terms of convenience and priority but at the same time one should respect the others
We are all selfish in different ways. Some of us more than other. Selfishness is normal these days. Probably not the best thing towards certain occasions, but at the end of the day, we all truly care about ourselves. There are boundaries when it comes to caring for ourselves and caring for others. We were made to worry, think, and flat out pamper ourselves in regular basis, but it shouldn’t be a constant thing. We have to be humble in most cases and love one another instead of just ourselves. Anyways, Yes, we all are selfish, especially in this society we live in now.
Zeshan Munawar says:
Pretty much true, but, there are people who sacrifice and care for others and believe you me when you sacrifice anything for the sake of someone’s happiness, you get inner satisfaction and happiness.
I have seen altruism in humans as well as in other species. I think it is just a part of the being a part of this natural system. Same goes with selfishness and selflessness. Although these things can be innate, they can also be shaped by our environment. So one might say that all three of these exist in people, but to a varying degree.
Viviana D'Orìa says:
as most part of the people here I think we are selfish, but my vision of what selfishness is goes further. I, as a matter of fact, don’t think selfishness is only about i.e. leaving a sit, caring more about our interests etc. ; this is something we can easily change, the point is that also this change is owed to selfishness; this is but the atteinment to the satisfation of a moral or social need of ours. Selfishness after me it’s the push to the accomplishment of ANY and ALL of our needs, and I add it’s easier to change selfish acts than selfish attitude; endly selfishness can be a good thing if the needs we are learnt to have are good. I’m afraid I’ve messed a little in the last part anyway I hope I’ve been to be clear enough.
Maryam ghareh says:
I think we must try in right way to have best for ourselves on the condition not ruin others right and respect other rights and help as much as we can other to enjoy their life
The never “ending”
Is being selfish the way to protect ourselves from the never fear we won’t have enough?
Yes, we are. But that is totally normal. Is for a selfish reason that we study, is for a selfish reason that we work, and is for a selfish reason that we love, if you don`t have selfish reasons to you love someone, that`s just charity, it`s like saying that you love that person not for a personal reason, but because that is the best thing for her, and you are earning nothing with her love, and that`s even worse than been selfish. Every action in our lives is based on a selfish reason, and who disagree with that, its just liying to himself or herself.
Man is selfish by nature but he is to overcome this attitude all the time.
I think the most remarkable quality in human beings is selfishness,yes ,think deeply of all what we do,u will see that we do this and that only for ourselves
i don’t know about others but i feel myself more selfish.when it comes to my fiance,i want everythng should be in his accordance,i want him to be happy al the time,i pray to god.when he fulfil my wish i thanked him,when he not i blamed him tht why he did that…so i am selfish.when i am in need…..
iqbal sahibee says:
I think all of us are selfish , because all the time we are trying to obey our needs , to do every thing makes us happy . It doesn’t mean at all that we are so bad . I thinnk it is just our nature . We can implement by a good way or a bad way .
This proverb: ‘Every man for himself’ totally describe
how does this world work. We all selfish no doubt about it. Sometimes we can do some altruistic things, but they are so shallow and unimportant for us. Honestly through all our life we care only about ourselves…
Of couse we´re selfish. It´s just a matter of surviving in a world where everybody´s demanding to do well in what ever mission you have: at home , at school, at work,…. However, as human beings we ought to learn to balance this natural feeling developing the human values we should all have and experienced from the very moment we are born. It is all a matter of love and love implies sharing other people´s happiness or sadness.
Viet Ha says:
this is the first time I come in this website and I feel it is very friendly, that is really a club like a large home.
About selfish, I think everyone naturally is selfish. We do everything for ourself, our children, our family and then for our socity. Although that, we should recognize what thing we should do to get the best for all, do not harmfulness for others.
Edward Simanjuntak says:
I personally like this topic, and my answer is: absolutely true! None of us is selfless or altruistic, and never can be – within our carnal minds. But there must be some creatures on earth, at least one I know: the meerkats! Watch how they socialize. During foraging for food one or two of them sacrifice themselves to stand sentry on a tree or higher surface of the ground to warn the group of approaching dangers. They also take turn to babysit the young of other females or even “breastfeed” them for the real mothers. A good lesson for humans to learn, indeed!
Maisaroh Harsono says:
It’s true. That’s why we always learn our surrounding to understand what is good or not good for everyone around us. Being selfish is not always bad but being a better person is more valuable in this life.
i think that people are selfish by nature but that’s where we have to work and try everyday to be better persons and cultivate good and positive qualities.
May be sometimes we are selfish but sometimes we are not. It may change according to the situation. I think it is like a quiz. We should choose one of them; selfishness or unsefishness. I think the true answer is; when we begin to worry about people apart from us, every thing will get better.
No, we are not selfish. I don’t agree with most of the people.However, we do something daily which from other view can be consider as a selfish, but action to every reaction depend upon our total understanding of the situation. I want to say we are not mature enough to understand situation so we act selfishly.
For example, if you consider a child he wants what he likes, he will not like to share that with anyone, specially with people of his age group. But as he mature and his understanding of thing/event expand he will behave differently or in other word he will behave less selfishly.
Ya, certainly, because we live for ourself first and family is the second. But everything has is onw reaction and we have to pay a value for that thing. Because everything we do we will recieve again from one day!
So, I think if we live for other people it will be better for us, but normally it is hard to do!
i think all of us are selfish. we prefer the good things for us first.
i think this habit in all human
Unfortunately, it’s really true nowadays. Many people think about themselves first of all. Their own needs are the most important things in the world. And selfishness causes selfishness. So way the world is arranged. And one person can’t change it, but it doesn’t mean that people don’t need to try to change the world. What if will be someone lucky?
mohsen irani says:
yes I think it’s true but it seems more factual in some cases of real problems because I am not selfish in normal life but I have seen my selfishness in real problem situations unfortunatelly.
Of course we r . But I think as long as we won’t hurt other people when we become selfish ,it’s accessible.Besides,no matter how great a person is ,there is still a seed of selfishness in his heart .So the great is able to be great ,not because they r born to be so,but they have the ability to control the growth of the seed.
emad ali says:
all we are selfish with different ratio
so we have to reducing this ratio
Adham Ahmad says:
“Once a baby fish asked her mother: Mom, why can’t we live on land? Mom said: Land is not for FISH. It’s made only for selFISH”
sami hajrullahu says:
To be selfish , sometimes, somewhere is a good, but most of the time , I think, it’s the better to be altruistic than selfish . But, remember that, keep in mind, you are the first !
resmi vineesh says:
I don’t know whether everybody is selfish or not but I can say about me that sometimes I’m very selfish. At that moment I think about me(my family) only. Actually in my opinion selfish mentality makes us very rude. We can’t even freely talk with others if we are selfish and can’t able to find the good side of others. I think positive attitude to everybody changes our state of mind and can live happily.
Bahar Sarafrazi says:
I believe that selfishness is not only a bad feature in human being to be rejected but also appreciable.but it must be controlled like other human being’s characteristics,such as kindness,forgiveness,even fear & anxiety,all of them should be under the control of men otherwise dangerous and destroyer.
for example can we say anxiety is bad?
sure not.some people are too much anxious for their future that it avoids them to think and decide to choose better ways and options for the future but vice versa some are reasonably anxious in a way that makes them to think carefully and decide better & therefore most probably they’ll have a good future then.
Just imagine 2people, one’s unselfish and the other is too egocentric. which one is bad and which one is good?
It’s clear…none of them.each one has it’s negative side.
in my opinion we can reject none of our feautures we should just lead them in a best way to have a better result .If these features were bad they wouldn’t be created then.
ESRA ÖZDİLEK says:
I agree with this statement.We live in a society,but we don’t have to follow all the rules.Basically,we consider our needs and what we want.At first sight,this statement seems horrible and selfish people are considered to be awful.We have to be selfish to be able to help other people.
Francis Maliyekkal says:
It is true that our life start with selfishness. All living things except human beings continue its life with selfishness. But the human beings must live with unselfishness, because, we are living in a society only because of our wisdom. We create this societ with giving and accepting helps and developing our society as a world together for today’s and tomorrow’s generation. So, any of such words like SELFISH, SELFRESPECT against the society and should consider it’s crime, and curbing the social structure. But, unfortunately, religions, religion like Communist Party interfere and regulate people’s thoughts and deeds. Therefore, many people still think selfishness and selfrespect are their rights.
Luiz Carlos says:
Well, most people are selfish, but as soon as one is improved as a human being s/he becomes less selfish, or even is’s selfish anymore.
In fact we were created to live as a broterhood. We should think about others, not only about our particular needs. Our old world bolongs to everyone. So everyone should take care of everyone! LOL
Ngoc Anh says:
I agree with you.However,I think that there are also many generous people on the world. everything has two sides so people are too.
Tuty Prasetya says:
Yeah,… human is social creature because we live in social life but basically we are selfish. We fulfill our interest (our family) first then we care for other and in my opinion that’s natural and the percentage of having selfish in their mind makes some people different in the way of thinking…
It is true. and we should be selfish! because we should love ourselves. The point is in what extent we are selfish, we just consider ourselves in every circumestances , or we consider others besides us.
We are all basically selfish, I agree with that. That’s why we have to think about and care for other people. We can’t live alone, and if we want to live happily, then people around us must be happy as well.
i do agree and wanna make it more specific:
“we are all basically selfish in some cases… mostly in a hurry catching a bus, for instance, we are selfish to get the seat. Unless, we cant get any seat available.. but the worse thing is that when a big man pushed me to get in the bus til i almost fell down…Gee! he doesnt deserve to be called as a man!!!
I agree but its not 100% true, because when we think about the routine tensions/problems and their solution it must involves the thinking of our family, friends, lovers, welwishers etc. In a society a person connects with many other units (persons) of society.
The answer is yes. Because being selfish will be the realty of this life, as long as money and todays’ consumption habits exist. I dream a world without these matters. However it seems to be impossible for long. I suggest, the best thing would be to keep in contact with relaible friends and familymembers to experience an altruistic environment.
I think most of us are selfish. We serve what we need first and keep ourrselves far a way from such primary duties. Family’s relations and needs are worth of making time to.