The Importance Of Selfishness: An Inescapable Plague

1616 Words 7 Pages
Selfishness: An Inescapable Plague

As humans, we are inconsiderate, egoistic, greedy animals who proceed down the most revolting and corrupt path in order to achieve our desired goals. Gone are our ethical values when our hunger for success and power is unleashed. Unconcerned with the wellbeing of others, our lethal daggers plunge into our vulnerable prey. Why is it that even with many witnesses, no one dares to take a step forward to save the victim? Many may feed you the generic response of “it is a problematic question with an equally challenging answer”. That would be an ambiguous answer to mask the shameful truth. With sordid rawness, we, the human race, are selfishly disgusting. We are unable to face our own selfishness, so instead,
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Without fail, we tend to choose the decision that benefits us the most. Aminata, a supposedly selfless character, concedes when she describes her situation as “the misfortune of those women was my good luck, their misery, but my escape” (Hill 238). Despite being able to empathize with the other women, Aminata’s morals helplessly crumble when she contemplates the consequences that may result in helping the women. As discussed in book club, selfishness roots from our instinct to protect ourselves. Even though one must live with a guilty conscience, social and physical stability is, nevertheless, put first. Moreover, as seen in the essay “The Step Not Taken” by Paul D’Angelo, the narrator steps out of the elevator without attending to the emotionally distressed young man. Concerned with following “big city life etiquette” and maintaining his social reputation, D’Angelo leaves without looking back. For selfish reasons, we neglect others’ needs so our own needs are not compensated. Literature accurately portrays selfishness in its characters which enables readers to realize and acknowledge humanity’s selfish tendencies. But to decrease selfishness, literature must also include selflessness that encourages readers to follow suit. In certain stories, authors are unable to retain this balance, so instead of focusing on fixing our selfish actions, we are only able to …show more content…
Under the influence of literature, readers, to a great degree , become aware of this undermined selfish catastrophe. It unlocks the potential of correcting our mistakes, but the journey to complete selflessness is far beyond human capacity. Our awareness of selfishness may reduce the severity and quantity of it, but to completely eradicate this selfish plague is impossible. Greed will poison its preys , and even a strong antidote like literature is only capable of slowing the

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