Social Commentary

Selfishness

There is no such ting as society; only individuals. This sentiment was uttered by Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of England, about mutual cooperation and looking out for one another. Every person should look after their own welfare and ignore the plight of others. This line of reasoning promotes an unfeeling notion that there is no need to care for anyone else unless it suits ones personal interest.

Selfishness as a virtue has been promoted throughout the industrialized world by people who elected them to office. This view promotes the idea that society has made a wrong turn by showing compassion and the only correction is austerity. Might makes right is the unofficial mantra of people who have selfish beliefs. Worshipping at the cult of self is seen as the only deity worth acknowledging. The voices and opinions of others is immaterial in the grand scheme of things.

One of the sayings on dollar bills in America is E. Pluribus Unum which is Latin for “out of many, one”. One would think this serves as a reminder of unity, but that is often ignored or most people are unaware of what that saying means. The meaning of words and what they stand for wither away over time, or have the context changed completely.

Selfishness is a belief system that sees sympathy as effeminate and repulsive. This usually applies to others, especially people who belong to marginalized groups. Strangers are seen as abstractions who do not have the same value as others one can relate to on a personal level. They believe people’s problems are of their own making and do not deserve help. If this way of thinking continues, we will have a nation where people suffer in silence.

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