Philosophy #5 – Proper vs Improper Selfishness

When outlining my Job-Mission hierarchy I briefly touched on a term that I used when I said that is is considered part of “proper selfishness” that one should want to strive to achieve the most that they can before starting to put themselves out there to either become in charge of others (i.e. a parent) or to begin the process of giving back. Well, in this piece (which could also be looked at as a Job-Mission Hierarchy 2.1 or part 3) I would like to do a little bit of a deeper dive into that specific term since to me it holds some value and merit when it comes to the larger argument of why it is that people need to strive for the best that they can be and why no one should settle for mediocrity. I am also looking at taking a deeper dive into the mediocrity in a way that I did not before, but that is for a later piece.

What is the difference in my mind between the two above terms; proper selfishness and improper selfishness. Before I dive into a lengthy explanation about what these two terms mean to me, I want to explain that in many cases people view the term “selfish” or “selfishness” with a lot of negatives, but I want everyone to know that is not the case here. Selfishness is a tool that can be used for both good and bad, but it is up to the user how that goes. Explaining these terms will help what I just said make more sense. Proper selfishness is when you as an individual make the decision to do something for yourself with the full intention of it eventually bringing more benefit to others in the long run, then it ever may for you. Most examples of this are things that in essence can only be achieved at the mission level; writing novels/self-help books, opening a shelter for the homeless, creating new community initiatives and policies to help make the community a better place for everyone, making a certain part of the city “smoke-free” and many more examples that are to that level something that you would have to work your butt off for, in order for others to benefit way more than you ever would from the thing you are doing. Improper selfishness on the other hand is when you as the individual decide to do something that will affect you and others in a negative way, without consultation to the other parties affected. This can be something like, buying a dog and forcing your kid to look after it when your kid never wanted a dog as a way to teach “responsibility”, deciding that you are moving without telling anyone close to you, making life changing decisions of any kind that affect the people closest to you without telling them first, all of these things are what I consider to be improperly selfish, with three exceptions; abortion, euthanasia and abuse. I will talk more about why those are the ONLY exceptions to this rule in another piece.

So, why is it so important for people to want to strive for their mission, based on the concepts provided above? The mission puts us in a place where we can give back, and it is the fact that we had to be selfish in our desires to better ourselves, that once we reach that pinnacle (whatever it is for you) that we should be working tirelessly to make sure as many people as possible can benefit positively from the work that you are now doing. This can take many years or even decades before you get to the point where you are at mission level, but by the time you get there, the train of mediocrity will be more than long gone, and you have reached the pinnacle of your existence on this earth, in this life.

Published by mlevis1996

24, Father of Anti-Humanist Philosophy (The AntiJudgementalism Handbook (2020) and 2019 Meditations (2020))

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