I have this theory that everybody is actually a self-serving-asshole, that in the end everybody is actually just doing things for their selfs. Maybe it is not the nicest way to think of the world, but when I came up with his theory it helped me understand the world around me and helped me to get things done which I cared about.
If you have a theory the first thing you do is to try to prove it, so I tried this.
We learned from a very young age that we should accomplish something, that our goal in life is to get things done. Of course, you can say that our goal is to love and to have fun, but that is not what we teach and from my experience, that is not what we actually believe. We want to go to college to get a job and we work over time to get that promotion. I don’t want to say that this is a bad thing, this is a good thing. Because we think like this we get shit actually done, because we think like this we live in this incredibly advanced world. Our goal is life is to feel accomplished; not to help others or to better the world, maybe that is nice by product, but then we never forget to feel accomplished because we did those good things.
Even our friendships we have mostly for ourselves. Would you be friends with someone if you don’t get something out of it? If you did just things for that other person, but that person never for you? We want to get something out of the people we put something in; if we don’t get something out of it, we just end the friendship.
I am not arguing that this is all a bad thing; this is just something we do, this is just the way to world works. You shouldn’t hate this, but you should keep it in the back of your mind. The next time you want help from someone you should ask “Why would these people want to help me?”. Maybe they want to help you because you can help them in the future or maybe they want to help you because they believe in your goal. You have to make sure that they get something out of it, they should know why they would need you in the future or why your goal is amazing. If they don’t don’t know that they probably won’t help.
Maybe this theory helps you, but I don’t say this theory is the way to go. For me, there is just one obstacle in the way to completely believe in this theory, sacrifice. I don’t mean little sacrifices, like giving to charity. People give to charity because they feel accomplished doing it, it helps them sleep at night. I mean real sacrifice, people going to Africa to treat illnesses there, soldiers fighting for people they don’t even know. Scattered over the world, scattered through history there are these acts of selflessness, that you can’t explain by thinking that people are self-serving.
Maybe they did it because they believed that it was the biggest accomplishment in their life or because they believed that their god was watching them, but maybe in the big picture, people are willing to give more than they get.
In day to day life, it helps me to think of everybody as self-serving, but maybe in the big picture when it really matters they are not. When it comes down to it fighting for what you believe in is the most important even when it asks more than it gives.