Being “selfish” should cease holding a negative connotation, for how can you be of benefit to anyone else if you neglect to take care of yourself? According to a philosophy called Objectivism, the greatest virtues to uphold are rationality, by employing your brain; honesty, by committing to truth; justice, by being equitable; independence, by remaining responsible for your own life and never living for the sake of another nor asking another to live for yours; integrity, by standing firm on your principles and applying them consistently to all that you do; productiveness, by being useful and fruitful and contributing to your life and to society; and pride, by valuing your self and your output.
If each person were to put their own self-interest first, we would live in a thriving world. Many say that selfishness leads to some gaining at the expense of others, but since when did anyone find health and happiness through lying, cheating, and stealing? No: unethical practices are spiritually toxic, and are in no one’s rational long-term self-interest, as are any other self-destructive behaviors, many of which tend to fall under the umbrella of instant gratification. It is in each person’s best interest to be cooperative with others, since we are social beings who flourish in healthy communities.
Be charitable, volunteer, rear children – if you like – but only support causes or people you value, and be sure that your support is aimed at their growth, and does not engender long-term reliance, for fostering dependence is a great injustice – to the individual, as well as society.
Perhaps a wider adoption of greater selfishness would produce a more thriving existence...