My friend dawnald had a discussion which made me think

@rocketj1 (6960)
United States
January 15, 2009 8:54am CST
She's good at that sort of thing! Anyway.....Within the responses, it was stated that we should learn to love ourselves and that this was a big problem in society. People are not loving themselves. Well..... I think I actually have an opposite opinion. I think that one of the largest problems in society is that people are selfish. They have no trouble loving themselves. It's others they don't love. Case in point: A woman abandons her children and husband to live with another man. Who comes first in this woman's life?..... HERSELF! A teacher has an affair with a student. Who comes first in this guy's life? ...... HIMSELF! I believe that the same could be said for all kinds of problems in society. What do you think? Am I oversimplifying this? Is this too black and white?
5 people like this
17 responses
@srijshm (1165)
• India
15 Jan 09
We all love to think that we love ourself, but the fact is that we don't. When one analyzes their self talk we realize who much we batter ourself & fill ourself with negativities. Well this is true for me. I was once suggested by a learned man to repeat the affirmation:"I love & approve of myself". When i practised it sincerely, i could see considerable improvement in my health/energy levels. In Ayurveda ( ancient science of indian medicine) it is stated that people who are not happy with their physical appearence are more likely to suffer from skin diseases. Many of us also treat our body as a separate entity from ourself. What else could explain smoking, excessive drinking & staying up late in front of TV & computer! & then we end up hating our bodies reaction to these atrocities.Would you still say that most of us love ourselves. I bet, you did not bargain for such a serious response.
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@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
15 Jan 09
On the contrary! I was hoping for such great responses! At the same time, if a person is not happy with their appearance, aren't they a bit self-absorbed. Wouldn't it benefit them to think about others and be of service to them rather than be worried about the way they look?
@srijshm (1165)
• India
15 Jan 09
My take, " you cannot give what you dont have". How can one spread happiness if one is not happy himself?
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@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
15 Jan 09
I'm not sure I would have to be happy to give of my resources to others. In fact, I believe doing so could actually bring happiness. (I'm having fun discussing this with you, by the way)
@katsmeow1213 (28910)
• United States
15 Jan 09
I think that's still a form of not loving ones self. The woman who abandons her children, she doesn't have enough self esteem and searches for self worth from her mates, thus thinking a man will complete her. The teacher having an affair with the student could also be a form of lack of self esteem, he doesn't feel he can find a woman his own age, but since he has a certain amount of power and control over his students, he takes advantage of them. People are selfish due to lack of self esteem. My sister in law is the perfect example. I know for a fact she has low self esteem and low self worth, it stems from the way she was raised. Her parent's marriage was failing by the time she came along, and they'd fight with each other constantly. Due to their stress they'd turn around and tell the kids that they'd wished they never had them. This has obviously stuck with them their whole lives. Now my sister in law tries to make herself feel better by proving she's better than everyone else, most especially her brother. Her brother (my husband) is not financially well off, but is rich with family and love. He's married and has 5 kids, I'd considered that a successful life although the money is tight and he has to work real hard to put food on our table. She was married before him, and rubbed that in his face. The first Christmas I was with him, we were already living together since September of that year. She'd been married in July. She told him that her husband and her parents in law were more family to him than me and my son because she was married and we weren't. She also has a good job, she's a music teacher in an elementary school. Her husband was as well. So they had a lot of money and a nice house. She was always flaunting her money and all the expensive things she bought. She even went so far as to brag about her horses at my baby shower. She bought the great grandson of a famous race horse, and brought the papers to my shower and showed everyone. This ticked off everyone at my shower. My oldest son's godmother was the most annoyed, and complained about it for weeks afterwards "She made me want to whip out all my credit cards and show her up" she kept saying. She acts selfish and childish... but it's due to lack of self esteem. (BTW, she's divorced now, living with some other guy last I heard, and hasn't spoken to anyone in her family for over a year, oh, and she has no kids either.)
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@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
15 Jan 09
Nice response! Hmmm....... now all these responses are really rolling around in my little brain! I think maybe our difference in opinion comes from a difference in our definitions of love. You believe that selfish people don't feel a certain way about themselves. This may be true. My belief is that love is defined as an action. By concentrating on how THEY feel or don't feel about themselves, the selfish person's actions are all concentrated on themselves. They are showing love to themselves. It may destroy them. It may not be good for them. But ultimately, it's all about them. Feelings are fickle. They are a roller coaster ride. I don't believe we are actually capable of loving (in a feeling way) ourselves at all times. I'm not even sure what that would look like. I think that if people spent more time thinking about loving (in an active way) OTHERS, we would be much better off. Then again, maybe I'm just rambling!
• United States
15 Jan 09
Yes, you have a point. Because now that I think of it, my husband's self esteem drives him to put others before himself (which isn't healthy either the way he does it). So low self esteem doesn't have everything to do with it. Regardless how you feel about yourself, you always have a choice in how you treat others.
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@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
15 Jan 09
That's very true. The opposite of this situation can be people allowing themselves to be taken advantage of too. Great point!
• United States
15 Jan 09
I certainly agree with you 100%. I like things to be black and white I don't like gray areas or wishy washy opinions.
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@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
15 Jan 09
Thanks:) Gray areas are good though for discussion and debate.
• United States
15 Jan 09
True
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@Humbug25 (12551)
15 Jan 09
Hi ya rocketj1 You might have a point there but to be honest I don't think about those sort of things too much. I think that there are a lot of people in the world that are incredibly selfish (like the one's you have mentioned) they don't how they hurt others just as long as they are ok. I am in no way like that and therefore people like that are not my problem, they are the ones that have to live with themselves and their actions. On the other hand I don't ask myself daily if I love myself or not. I am happy with my life as it is, more or less, right now and that is what matters. If I am more or less happy then my kids too will be happy. I am just glad that I can get up every day, ready to start and I have not problems with facing the day ahead!!
@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
15 Jan 09
Yeah. I guess most of us are not thinking about these societal problems but really just learning to be content where we are. Finding happiness in the little things. I just get tired sometimes of all the Psycho-babble about loving yourself. It's on all the talk shows (Oprah especially). It seems that so many people are so self-absorbed. Over-analyzing their problems when they should just get on with it! I think you have proven to be someone who knows how to get on with it and do what needs to be done, my friend!
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@Humbug25 (12551)
15 Jan 09
Sorry but in my opion this loving yourself stuff is total BS, excuse my language! LOL . I was put on this earth to love someone and for someone to love me not love myself! That probably wasn't the only reasons I was put on this Earth but you get what I mean. I find it hard to understand where these self-obsessed people are coming from so I let them get on with it. I know I am a good person and I am happy with that!
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@Barb42 (4216)
• United States
15 Jan 09
I think you have a good point. Most people do think of themselves before they think about others. It is the selfishness built within us that makes us care more for ourselves than others. A mother who isn't selfish would give her life for her kids, not leave them for another man! But then, thinking about it, perhaps these people who do these things feel unloved themselves, and, instead of trying to be more loving, they tend to turn to others for love, abandoning those to whom their attention should be given? Maybe that Mother never felt loved in her life and, when she thinks she's found it with another guy, she doesn't realize she's abandoning her children for something that might not even be love. But she's willing to do it for herself because she's never felt love before. But I suppose you could still call it selfishness, or perhaps the person hasn't really matured? And it's not just the young doing this, but older adults as well.
@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
15 Jan 09
Very good points, indeed! I followed your logic all the way through! I guess this isn't totally black and white. Thanks:)
@Grandmaof2 (7603)
• Canada
15 Jan 09
I think you're absolutely on target here. Brings me to think of the post a dear friend wrote here about why does everyone right away blame God when their world falls apart, yet people forget to give praise for the good stuff. Because people are selfish it's about "Me". I did walk away from my first marriage but not to pleasure myself with someone else. It was no eazy walk in the park but neither was coming home and finding him in bed with a "So called friend of mine" who was more than 20 years older than us. To walk away from your children is a sin as far as I'm concerned and yet better than killing them. We do have a lot of problems in society just as you put it.
1 person likes this
@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
15 Jan 09
That's true. Everyone says "Why me?" but knowing the odds and knowing how terrible things happen everywhere, why is it that no one ever says "Why not me?" Thanks:)
@Rozie37 (15499)
• Turkmenistan
16 Jan 09
The thing of it is, these people obviously don't love themselves or they would have more respect for themselves. You can not love anyone else, if you don't even love yourself.
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@faith210 (11233)
• Philippines
16 Jan 09
Hi rocketj1! Oh this is complicated. haha...I do agree with your opinion about the selfish kind of love that so many people have. And I do believe that there is another type of loving oneself which I think your friend dawnald means to say about loving oneself. The kind of love that is not destructive and not the selfish kind of love. I may be mistaken but if I say love yourself, I would mean the kind of love that will make you whole and a better person so that in embracing yourself in love, you will know and learn how to give it to others too and not the kind of selfish love that will ruin or hurt you or other people in the end. Just my thoughts dear friend. Take care and have a nice day! lovelots..faith210
@carolscash (9500)
• United States
16 Jan 09
I don't know that love has anything to do with the situations above- I believe more of it is that people have the idea that they should get whatever they want and that it doesn't matter who that they hurt to get it. We are a spoiled society and it is beginning to effect our lives in bigger ways than we expected it too. We need to get back to basics and learn to treat people with respect and as an equal. We need some old fashioned basics and we need mothers home with the children to teach them how to respect others and treat others. Our children need to be taught that they matter and that they are important! Our problems are only going to get worse here until someone decides to go back to the standards that our country was built upon.
@bamrahkirti (1818)
• India
16 Jan 09
I think society has these kind of people who are selfish and always think about themselves.They do not bother about other person's feelings and emotions but there are other people also who devote their lives to others .The society has mixture of both kind of people.Mother Teresa,Mahatama Gandhi are few examples who devoted their lives for others.
1 person likes this
• China
16 Jan 09
Hi,friend.According to your description, i think that the woman is so selffish who abandons her children and husband to live with another man.If she can not live with her husband for she does not love her husband no longer,she may divorce officially and them live with the man she love.But she could not abandon her children.There is half responsibility to look after her children.One should love himself,but he could not forget his responsibility.
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@zdsyx88 (14)
• China
16 Jan 09
I think we should do our best to be responsible for ourselvs and to love others. But before that, what we should do is to be responsible for others and love ourselves.
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@winterose (39897)
• Canada
16 Jan 09
you are simplyfing it, if the teacher loved herself, in the real sense of the word love, she would not have disgraced herself by sleeping with a student, she would have had more self respect. If the spouse cheating loved herself she would not what it means to be loved, needed, wanted and would have stayed home and gave that love back to her family not go out looking for love that she felt for whatever reason she couldn't get at home.
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@ANTIQUELADY (36468)
• United States
16 Jan 09
i agree w/you 100%. people need to think of others instead of theselves all the time.
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@DonnaLawson (4032)
• United States
16 Jan 09
I guess that it could be both ways, I do love myself and by doing so, I love others.. I don't think way too highly of myself to the point of being mean or selfish about it, but I do think that if you honestly love yourself, then you can love others better.. I think that some people are selfish and I see that everyday I go out somewhere in the car.. Everyone thinks they have to get through that red light, just one more car, no one thinks they have to wait, they almost run you over while trying to get ahead of you, just so they can be one car length in front of you.. I have seen many people think they are so important that even if it is your turn to go, they have to run right out in front of you.. The most irritating thing is the not stopping for the red light, if one more person can get through the red light, then they go, no matter what.. That is a selfish self important thing to do and some people are selfish and self important, but not everyone.. We get so caught up in the everyday worries that we don't see the good in most people.. When a woman abandons her family for another man, it is not loving herself, it is selfishly taking what she wants at any cost.. She couldn't really love herself, if she does, then she has chosen her love very badly..
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@hildas (3031)
16 Jan 09
I think a lot of people really are very selfish in this world today. Everyone is out for themselves and has little time for others (except for a few) as this is the way of the world today. I do think a lot of people do not believe in themselves enough and they do say you have to learn about yourself and love yourself before you really can move on in the world. Well thats what I have read, but it does make sense I suppose. I guess though that these two things really do not mean the same. I think being selfish is a really good word for people leaving their families or having affairs. Whether they really love themselves deep down though is different, as I guess these people do not really know who they are or even have respect. Sorry this is a bit mumbo jumbo. I never am good at getting the point across or explaining things very well.
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
15 Jan 09
Aw, thanks for the mention and the compliment... I think maybe it goes both ways. Loving yourself too much to the exclusion of others is definitely selfish. Not loving yourself enough can cause you to make choices that are very bad for you, like not getting out of a relationship that's turned abusive. Now imagine a person who is a weird combination of both. What a mess that would be!
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