我们都是自私的人 (We are all selfish beings)

无可否认的,不论是在哪一个方面,我都是一个自私的人。但是,这个世界上,又有多少人是真的无私的呢?——题记


在一本书上看到那么一句话:“这个世界有三种事——你的事、他人的事、老天的事。我们所能做的就是管好自己的事,至于他人的事(他人包括父母、妻子、丈夫、孩子、伴侣、朋友、同事等等),就让他们自己去管,而老天的事,我们想管也管不了。”

第一次看到这句话的时候,感觉这是一个很自私的想法。

可是后来,当我放下书的时候,慢慢思考,忽然就觉得就算不去这样想,我们在日常生活里的言行举止却在在地反映出我们每个人都是自私的,就连想要管他人的事,都是为了个人“利益”而付诸行动的。

自私,在百度里的基本释义是:只为自己打算,只图个人的利益。

以这个释义来看,若说我们每个人都是自私的也不为过(虽然在许多时候,我们都以为自己是在为对方打算)。

一个人从出生到长大甚至到老,追随自己的快乐本就是最基本的目标,没有人愿意来到这个世界是为了吃苦的。

只是,在追求快乐的途中,我们曾做出了许许多多,从身、语、意,造成对他人的伤害的行为与抉择。

纵观我们的日常生活,有太多例子都显露了人们自私的本性,只不过那些自私所造成的结果不同罢了。

父母约束孩子,如望子成龙、望女成凤,又唠叨,又打骂的,总是明正言辞地说是为了孩子的好,其实是一种自私的行为,是为了一份虚荣心,骄傲心,自豪感,以及心无愧疚感而产生的心态。如果我们可以让孩子自由的成长,让他们发挥自己的技能,或许才是对孩子最好的爱护;

亲密或是情侣彼此之间的那份期待,希望对方能够做到符合自己的要求也是很自私的。因为在对方身上能够找到一份归属感,一份被爱的感觉,一份幸福感,才能延续彼此之间的情感。可是一旦这些都失去了,或是因为爱而痛苦,就会果断地毅然离去,无视于对方撕心裂肺的痛。

而紧紧捉住不愿放手的另一方,看似是爱得很深很深,其实只是因为不愿意接受自己是被抛弃的,自己不再被爱了而把责任推在对方身上,仿佛放弃这段感情的人是绝情的,说穿了还不是为了满足自己那份看起来是情真意挚的虚荣心。

孩子,甚至是成人对于父母的期盼,希望自己的双亲能够达到自己心目中理想的父母也是自私的。天下没有完人,然而我们都希望自己的父母能够依据我们的期望来对待我们,为我们付出最伟大的牺牲。可是,许多时候,我们也做出了让爸妈难过的决定,一意孤行,总还能找到适当的借口为自己的自私遮掩。

在职场上更不必说了,凡事对自己无利的事情,没有人肯做,哪怕是勤奋工作,乐于助人,无非也是因为在某些方面能够得到一种认可,一种名望,或是心理的一份快乐。

人之所以会自私,是因为人们需要一份认可,或是需要减少自己的愧疚,甚或是为了满足自己寻找快乐的欲望。

我们的愤怒、悲伤、喜悦、难过,源自于我们的自私的心理。因为有所期待,因此当所有的人、事、物无法顺逐我们的意愿,我们的心里就升起了失望,生气,怨恨等等情绪,因为我们无法感受到我们正在追寻的那一份快乐或满足。

自私,并没有错,只要在我们自私的行为背后,能不能做到利人利己,才是最重要的。

就拿行善来说吧,看起来是伟大的,是无私的奉献,但是在某种程度,仍然是一个自私的行为。

有些人行善就为了名利,有些人行善是为了赎罪,有些人行善的确是为了帮助不幸的人,但在内心深处还是有一种愉悦的感觉,正所谓助人为快乐之本嘛。

只不过这种自私,既利人,也利己。至少在表面看上去,行善的人都为吸引赞赏的目光,表扬的言语。而在心灵上,也得到一丝莫名的快乐。如果反过来说,行善会为自己带来无尽的困扰与烦恼,甚至是灾祸,试问有多少人能够真正的无私地付出?

只有毫无所求的付出,才是真正的无私……然而这个世界上真的有这样的人吗?即便是史上的伟人,他们也有自私的一面,因为在他们经历无数风雨而达成的伟绩,也曾在无意间牺牲了他们亲人的担忧与心痛而换来的。

一直在想,我这一生中究竟做了什么事是真正的无私的?即便是我那篇《不以善小而不为》里帮老人撑伞,也是一种自私的行为。

因为在我做出那次善行之后,我得到的是一份快乐,是一份感激,就算我真的施恩不望报,但也可以避免让自己感到羞愧,可以活得心安理得。

这是一个人人都不愿面对的事实,却又真真切切地存在着。不管我们找了什么样的理由都好,都是为了给自己一个坦荡荡的借口。何不如直截了当地说,我……就是那么自私的?

22.11.2016

文/林顺源

Without much doubts, I’m a selfish person. But again, who isn’t?

I read in a book this statement: “There are only 3 types of matters in this world. Your personal matters, matters that belongs that others and lastly, matters arranged by “God”. What we can do is to take care of our own matters and do not be bothered about others’ matters (others include parents, our spouses, children, friends and loved ones). And for matters created by “God”, nobody can ever change anything.”

What a selfish statement, I thought.

But as I put down the book and pondered, I realised that with or without the influence of the statement, human have been selfish in many ways through our daily actions and behaviours and words. Even when we care and try to help someone, it is also out of selfish thoughts.

Selfish is defined as “devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.”

And from the definition, it is definitely not an understatement that all of us are selfish (though we have always told ourselves that we have others’ interest at heart).

When we were born and as we grow up, looking for happiness has been our main objective in life. There is absolutely no one who really wish to have a difficult life.

However, as we pursue our own happiness, we tend to hurt others through our actions, words and decisions inevitably. There are so many real life examples that can prove the selfishness we hold within us. And we witness the different consequences of our selfishness, either big or small impact to others.

As parents, we have always hoped that our children will grow up with success intellectually. We nag and reprimand and sometimes resort in shouting, with the excuse that whatever we say or do is for the children’s good. But in actual fact fact, we have done so out of our own pride, our own wishes and also to avoid the feeling of guilt should they go astray. If only we can really let them be and make their own decisions base on their interest and skills, it will be the most truthful love we can give them.

The unspoken expectations between a couple are also selfish thoughts. We wish that our spouse or the other half will live up to our expectations. When we are in love, we feel secure, being loved and the world is so beautiful. But when things don’t turn out well, or we have lost that feeling, we leave or ask for separation to satisfy our own search of happiness, neglecting the fact that the other person will be going through torments.

On the other hand, the party who refuses to let go begins to display signs of disappointment, sometimes even signs of depression. In actual fact, what he or she cannot let go is the pride of being deserted. It’s a selfish thought.

As children, we have always hoped that our mom and dad will be the best parents in this world. But there is no perfection in this world, and yet we expect our parents to treat us the way we want, and thought that they should sacrifice for us. In contrary, we made decisions that upset our parents, disregarding their feelings and often we are able to find excuses for our selfish acts.

Looking around all the people in our working environment, regardless whether is it a big or small organisation, we witness each and every one of us are all selfish being. No matter how hard working and helpful a colleague is, the actions are out of recognition, popularity or just a simple desire for self happiness.

Human beings are selfish because we need recognition, especially from the ones we love. Through our selfishness, we search for reasons to make ourselves feel good and to avoid guilt. More importantly is that we seek for happiness, sometimes at the expense of others.

Our angers, disappointments, laughter and sadness are all results of our selfish thoughts. When things don’t go the way we wish to, we begin to feel a series of emotions arising within ourselves. That’s because we have failed to find the happiness that we are seeking.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong from being selfish. What’s more important is what are the results of our selfishness and can we achieve a win win situation for all parties in our search.

If we take charity or doing good deeds as an example, it seems to be an act of compassion, giving without expecting any returns, but to a certain extent, we are doing it out of our selfish thoughts too.

Some people donate to gain fame, some do it to reduce their sins, and of course there are some who genuinely wish to help the less fortunate, but at the end of the day, what they are looking for is their own happiness out of helping others.

The good thing is that such selfish acts are win-win for both parties. The one who does good deeds receives recognition and praise, and from within the heart, they achieve happiness and peace. But if doing good deeds will bring upon ourselves dangers or troubles, how many of them will really extend their help?

To be selfless is to give without expecting anything in return, but is there anybody in this world who can really do that? Many a times, even the greatest and wisest men in the historic past have also been selfish to their loved one in pursue of the great stuff that they have achieved.

I have been thinking what have I done that was truly selfless? Even the small little act of sheltering the old man in my prose “Do not disregard small good deeds” was also a selfish act, because I have done it to feel happy and not guilty.

This is a fact and reality that no one will admit. No matter how many reasons we can find, it’s just an excuse. So why don’t I just admit that I am indeed selfish?

22.11.2016

Francis Lim

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