Selfishness

The principle of competition appears to be nothing more than a partially conventionalized embodiment of primeval selfishness... the supremacy of the motive of self-interest... The Christian conscience can be satisfied with nothing less than the complete substitution of motives of mutual helpfulness and goodwill for the motive of private gain.

Spiritual progress must be slow as long as we are worried, frightened, resentful, sick, or discouraged – and those things can be overcome only through prayer. It is a duty and a joy to help others, wisely, and to leave the world a better place than we found it – and we can do that only through prayer. The more we pray for ourselves the more power will our prayers have for any other purpose whatsoever; so we see that praying for ourselves is the reverse of selfishness – it is truly glorifying God.

The historical Jesus has a different category of sins from that of the Old Testament or of Paul or of ecclesiastical writers after him. The sins which occupied the attention of Jesus were hypocrisy, wordliness, intolerance, and selfishness. The sins which occupy the principal attention of the Church… are impurity, murder, the drinking of alcohol, swearing, the neglect of the Church’s services and ordinances.

Every vocation is ultimately founded on the salutary selfishness by which an individual, despite the whole world, seeks to save his own immortal soul.

We believe in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than despair, learning in the place of dogma, truth instead of ignorance, joy rather than guild or sin, tolerance in the place of fear, love instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness, beauty instead of ugliness and reason rather than blind faith or irrationality.

In the highest love between man and woman, or parent and child, as the person reaches the ultimates of strength, self-esteem, or individuality, so also does he simultaneously merge with the other, lose self-consciousness, and more or less transcend selfishness. The same can happen in the creative moment, in the profound aesthetic experience, in the insight experience…and others which I have generalized as peak experiences.

Prayer stamps with its indelible mark our actions and demeanor. A tranquility of bearing, a facial and bodily repose are observed in those whose inner lives are thus enriched. Within the depths of consciousness a flame kindles. And man sees himself. He discovers his selfishness, his silly pride, his fear, his greeds, his blunder. He develops a sense of moral obligation, intellectual humility. Thus begins a journey of the soul toward the realm of grace.

Love is the doorway thru which the human soul passes from selfishness to service and from solitude to kinship with all mankind.

Love is the sunshine of the soul. Without it we get hard and sour and we never grow into what we could be. Love sweetens the bitterness of experience and softens the core of selfishness that is inherent in human nature.

If it is true that what I mean by “selfishness” is not what is meant conventionally, then this is one of the worst indictments of altruism: it means that altruism permits no concept of a self-respecting, self-supporting man - a man who supports his life by his own effort and neither sacrifices himself nor others. It means that altruism permits no view of men except as sacrificial animals and profiteers-on-sacrifice, as victims and parasites - that it permits no concept of a benevolent coexistence among men - that it permits no concept of justice.

The human being who lives only for themselves finally reaps nothing but unhappiness. Selfishness corrodes. Unselfishness ennobles, satisfies. Don't put off the joy derivable from doing helpful, kindly things for others.

Posthumous charities are the very essence of selfishness when bequeathed by those who, even alive, would part with nothing.

Posthumous charities are the very essence of selfishness, when bequeathed by those who, when alive, would part with nothing.

No indulgence of passion destroys the spiritual nature so much as respectable selfishness.

Nine times out of ten, optimism is a sly form of selfishness, a method of isolating oneself from the unhappiness of others.

If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.

Selfishness is that detestable vice which no one will forgive in others, and no one is without in himself.

Thorough selfishness destroys or paralyzes enjoyment. A heart made selfish by the contest for wealth is like a citadel stormed in war, utterly shattered.

Selfishness is that detestable vice which no one is without in himself.