Self Respect: The Opposite of Selfishness

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Part 1 of 3: Seeing the difference: Self-Respect vs. Selfishness



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The universe teaches us about ourselves through our interactions with other people. When we are able to correctly interpret the behavior of others, we can learn the lessons meant for us. This is what it means to function effectively in our environment.

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Functioning effectively = using our freewill to make the right choices.  And this is how we get closer to our spirit, or real self.

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A major component of functioning effectively, is having the ability to see the difference between SELF-RESPECT and SELFISHNESS. Most people are bad at this. For the untrained observer, it’s actually quite difficult to tell the two apart. It takes a trained observer– one who fully understands both concepts — to perceive the difference.

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That said, here’s how I define SELF-RESPECT:

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SELF-RESPECT is good for yourself and good for others. An action made out of self-respect is simply any action that enables you to function as a happier and healthier human being. 

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 GOOD = Anything that brings you closer to your spirit– i.e evolves you

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BAD = Anything that brings you away from your spirit

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Actions made out of self-respect are good for yourself because they put your own well-being first on the priority list.

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 Actions made out of self-respect may offend others. They may be criticized. They may even hurt feelings. But ultimately an action made out of self-respect is good for others because it sets an example. And via example, by empowering yourself, you indirectly empower others. 

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Here’s how I define SELFISHNESS:

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SELFISHNESS is not good for yourself and not good for others. A selfish action is simply any action that prevents you from functioning as a happier and healthier human being. 

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A selfish action is not good for yourself because it leads to suffering. It is both pleasure seeking —which produces unconscious guilt, and profit seeking — which produces unconscious enslavement. Remember, material things take away personal freedom – and this is the same thing as giving away your power. [see Empowered People do these three things differently]

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A selfish person is also not good for others— not because they take advantage of others, but because selfish people are incapable of setting an example.  Thus, they are incapable of being leaders, or role models.

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.SELFISHNESS is therefore, not only different than SELF-RESPECT, it’s the exact opposite of it!

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PART 2 of 3:  Being the difference: Controller vs. Victim



 

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Seeing the difference between self-respect and selfishness in others helps us make sense of our world.  We apply this understanding by choosing who to be ourselves. There are two ways we choose self-respect — we can adjust our ATTITUDE and our POINT-OF VIEW.

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.1. We adjust ATTITUDE by choosing how we feel.

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There are exactly two ways to respond to any situation— We can choose to respond as a powerless, selfish person (VICTIM) -or- as an empowered, self-respecting person (CONTROLLER).

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For example:

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As per my explanation above, you might be wondering how the SELFISH person who takes advantage of others isn’t bad for others,

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or,

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How the SELF-RESPECTING person who offends others isn’t bad for others.

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That’s when I ask:  Whose decision is it to be taken advantage of?  Whose decision is it to be offended?

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Answer: You’re own decision.

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As hard as it might be to admit,  we are here to hurt people as much as we are here to love people. That’s how lessons are learned in this world!

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Without selfish VICTIMS taking advantage of others, we wouldn’t experience suffering and be able to learn from it. Selfish victims give us the opportunity to manifest resilience and learn lessons. They teach us the value of discretion when it comes to choosing associates and companions. Selfish victims show us who to avoid.

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Likewise, without self-respecting CONTROLLERS putting what’s best for themselves above what’s best for others, we wouldn’t have empowered people. And that would mean we wouldn’t have role models or leaders showing us who to become. 

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*VICTIMS remain VICTIMS when they choose to suffer instead of choosing to learn the lesson.

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VICTIMS become CONTROLLERS when they choose to avoid suffering. Therefore they learn their lesson.

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Circumstance is entirely dependent on who you choose to be. Not what happened to you. 

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Remember, as long as we are not violating the freewill of others, we are only responsible for the things we choose for ourselves.

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This means that you are not responsible for hurting another persons feelings . You are only responsible for your own hurt feelings, in the same way that you are not responsible for taking advantage of someone, you are only responsible for being taking advantage of.

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It’s not about what your doing to others–but what you’re doing for yourself, that matters.


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2. We adjust POINT-OF-VIEW by choosing the way we see.

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There are exactly two ways to see any situation— we can to see a situation as a powerless, selfish person (VICTIM), or as an empowered, self-respecting person (CONTROLLER).

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For example,

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If I said, “A selfish person is bad for others because they take advantage of others” — that would mean I see the world from a VICTIM’S perspective.

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The VICTIM can only see how the selfish person hurts others.

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Now, when I say, “A selfish person is bad for other people because they are incapable of setting an example” — This is seeing the world from the CONTROLLER’S perspective.

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The CONTROLLER can only see how the selfish person can’t help others.

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Two ways of looking at things. Both are accurate. It’s up to us to choose our point of view.

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PART 3 of 3: Choosing the difference: Choice vs. Indifference



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AAn important reminder: We are all born selfish beings. Most people function as victims their whole lives and this is by design.  Only those of us meant to evolve become individuals acting out of self-respect.  The few who do shift from VICTIM to CONTROLLER use only one thing to make this transition: Individual choice

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Do you decide your circumstances? Or are you the victim of circumstance?

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It’s just as EASY to make no choice and persist as the selfish victim, as it is to choose to be the selfish victim.

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It is DIFFICULT to choose to be the self-respecting controller.

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CHOICE exists for all— but few CHOOSE at all.

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And an individual’s own choice is the one and only thing in his life he is wholly RESPONSIBLE for.

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When Voltaire said,  “WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY”, what he really was inferring to, was the responsibility of choice.  The choice to become a CONTROLLER. The choice to be EMPOWERED.

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Read it in reverse and the message becomes clear:

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“WITH GREAT RESPONSIBILITY COMES GREAT POWER.”

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And with that I say:

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MAY THE CHOICE BE WITH YOU!

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“Self-respect is taking responsibility for your own happiness” – Ayn Rand


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Choose to set an example as a leader, or find one to be your role model.

Choose to set an example as a leader, or find one to be your role model.

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About NSchacht

- San Francisco, CA - When I write with no destination in mind, I encompass all possibility.