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Self Interest

Essay by   •  November 19, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,185 Words (5 Pages)  •  916 Views

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What would the world come to if people did not strive to help themselves? Would more be accomplished or nothing at all? When is helping oneself self-interest, and when is it rude and selfish? How far does one have to go to not be selfish? In order to be not selfish, must a person spent all their time giving to others? Is in a way giving to others even show selfishness? If that is true is it possible to end selfishness? These questions do not have straight answers, and probably never will. Yet, to understand the importance of self-interest it is important to understand my opinion of the answers to these questions.

Self-interest is when people strive to help their condition, or themselves without implicating harm on others. It causes people to work harder. I am sure without self-interest many people would not be working at all. Why would they work, if they were not interested in helping themselves? Why would the secretary file papers for hours without getting something out of it? This is very important because without self-interest there would not be a work force. Even high school students strive harder out of self-interest. Those who work harder attend better colleges, and are expected to lead a prospering life. If those students did not feel the need to get into a good college, and lead a life that would be helpful to them, then they would never get anywhere. It is often now that other generations insult the youth of today as being lazy and ignorant. I do not feel that my generation is lazy and ignorant, yet without self-interest pushing them to work I think they would become lazy and ignorant.

Selfishness, although related to self-interest, has important differences. A major difference between selfishness and self-interest is that selfishness while helping oneself may also hurt others. A person becomes rude and selfish when they do not pay attention to anyone but themselves. Selfishness is best shown when a person has responsibilities such as children and family to take care of. Yet, ignores those responsibilities and only focuses on themselves. Selfishness is shown when others are willing to ruin relationship through fights of money. This can easily be seen when the young athlete is suing their parents for stealing their money. This can also be seen on any of the court television shows where people who were once the best of friends are having an absolute brawl over a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Which although it is a lot of money, is not close to how priceless a good friendship is. Self-interest will always benefit a country while selfishness can only hurt it. Self-interest motivates people to work harder, and if people work harder it helps everyone around them. Selfishness is quite different from self-interest because it inflicts harm on people, while self-interest will almost always help people achieve their goals.

Giving to others is an amazing thing to do. Yet, I do not feel it is something that should be automatically expected of people. I think everyone must work hard to get money, and lead the life that they want to live. With hard work comes profit. This profit that people make is used to pay off their own bills, and then buy things they want for themselves. I think that people should take care of others only after they take care of themselves. This does not mean never think of others. It just means that why should one person have to work hard to earn a living, while another person receives free hand outs.

I also feel that people give to others to help themselves feel good about themselves. There are not many people who feel bad about what they did after they gave to others. This makes giving to others actually an act of self-interest. This is because it is one's interest that they feel good about themselves. Doing anything is an act of self-interest. Eating, showering, sleeping, are all acts of self-interest. They are very important and vital to life. This shows that if self-interest were to completely end, not only would it be bad for the economy of the country, but also the entire human race would die.

I think

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