Why are there so many arguments? Why is there such chaos? When will it stop? Is social equality really such a radical concept? Now, more than ever, it is apparent that we are a divided nation. Whether this is due to political constructs, societal disadvantages, or the overabundance of hateful information, one thing is clear: the world is run by selfish motives.
It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Selfishness motivates peoples’ beliefs and desires, with the well-being of others being cast aside. We are a world divided by hate, not unified by love. Egocentrism can be seen across the world, in the neighbor who buys the last carton of eggs to the billionaire who does not donate to charity. People value political agendas that benefit themselves, not necessarily the greater good of humanity. The unfair social class construct survives because those with privilege refuse to assist struggling communities. The media discusses hate crimes and injustices that further polarize public opinion and the accompanying political parties involved.
People are too engrossed in their own lives, prioritizing their own interests rather than working towards a better, more equitable future.
Selfishness, not to be confused with self-affirmation, is a driving force behind personal and national decision-making. While valuing the well-being of oneself is beneficial and encouraged, it has different implications as compared to prioritizing one’s own interests over ethical and humane ideals. People should not be subject to discrimination based on their skin color, religious beliefs, gender, or sexual identity — these discriminations are only caused by personal prejudices created by hateful people. If everyone valued the equality of their neighbors instead of their own self-seeking beliefs, the world could be a more peaceful place.
Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.
John F. Kennedy
There can be an argument that selfish actions are positive, as taking care of oneself puts them in a better position to benefit others. But these so-called selfish actions do not have the same negative consequences as some selfish acts that can devalue and pain other members of society. Work on your own self-care, dedicate yourself to your job, focus on your health; but do not commit actions that negatively impact those around you. If you are in a state in which you can assist individuals and communities in need, do not instead add to their suffering by hoarding your available generosities. Turning a blind eye to these injustices is just as influential as being a course of hate and selfishness. Rather than prioritizing oneself in these times of struggle, we should support our brothers and sisters of the world and work together to reach a peaceful future.
These conflicts are not about you or me, or us versus them — it is about humanity and equality against injustices. There are no sides of race against race, religion against religion, or class against class — it is a battle of right versus wrong. Moral versus immoral. Fairness versus biases. Rather than hate a group of people based on a unifying factor that deems no harm, consider that we are all unified as human beings and deserve the right to a fair and equal life.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.
Selfish People Make The World Go Round
Acrylic on canvas
2 X 4 feet
Melanie Vera is a graduate of Pennsylvania College of Art & Design where she earned a BFA in Fine Arts in 2019. She is currently attending Johns Hopkins University to earn a Masters of Museum Studies. Her work primarily focuses on the human body in a physical and ethereal sense, encouraging viewers to contemplate relationships within themselves. Whether this interest in the body stems from her parents’ careers in the medical field, her worsening case of eczema, or her past experiences of anorexia is unknown. She currently resides in Bel Air, Maryland, where she continues to study and create textile works.