We usually confuse self-care with selfishness and the other way around, this is a common mistake we make in our daily life, and not being able to see the difference is what is causing a huge disaster in humanity.
It is hard for us to see the difference between them because they have the same meaning except for one simple detail, which makes a huge difference. Both self-care and selfishness mean the care of oneself, loving ourselves in the first place. The difference that changes everything is that selfishness is only concerned with one’s own benefits regardless of others, while self-care is concerned with one’s own benefits and the benefits of others, loving ourselves in the first place and meeting our own needs, so we can be ready to benefit others.
The selfish people are only worried in their own interests, because they only look to satisfy their own needs at the expense of others. They never think about others, they don’t care about other’s needs, because most of the time they are thinking only in themselves, so they forget to look after people around them. The selfish people don’t care if they hurt others in the process of getting what they need to meet their needs and desires. They think they are the center of the world, and they want everyone to agree with that.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
On the other hand, self-care people are worried about their own interests and the interest of others, and they want to meet their own needs and desires but not at the expense of others. They want to become better persons every day, they love themselves, and they do things to benefit themselves, but that doesn’t mean that they forget about everyone around them. They do follow their dreams and desires, but without trampling over others in order to achieve what they want. Self care people want to meet their own needs, but they try to look for the best way to avoid hurting others in the process of meeting their needs.
So now you can see that there is a difference between self-care and selfishness, and where one helps to construct a better world, the other helps to construct a better world but only for themselves. Probably both will lead to happiness, but only those who are not selfish will find eternal happiness, and those people will definitely help to change other people’s lives, and making other people happy, what will make them even happier, because everything you shall give, you shall receive, multiplied.
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live; it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” – Oscar Wilde
The world desperately needs less selfish people; there is so much despair and sadness because of this selfish humanity. This amazing world with all its beauty is dying thanks to the selfishness of human beings, because we are not only worried about meeting our own needs in order to survive, we are also too worried about meeting unnecessary needs at any cost, that we forgot about taking care of our planet, destroying everything that was given to us.
We are also too worried thinking only in ourselves that we forgot about people around us, we are too worried in getting a better position at our job that we don’t care if we have to destroy everyone around us to get it. We are too worried about getting more money, to buy more and more things for us even when we don’t need them that we forgot about the man whom is sitting in the street asking for a miserable coin to buy something to eat.
We are too worried about our own satisfaction that we don’t care if we cheat our partner, because you think your satisfaction is more important that being loyal to the person who loves you! We are too worried because we didn’t had the guts to follow our dreams, so we force others to do it for us, even when they don’t want to do that. We are too worried about meeting our own needs that we don’t care if we become rapists in order to satisfy that need, we are too worried in ourselves, that we don’t care if we steal, or if we have to kill others in order to meet our needs, goals and desires. And all of this happens because of our selfishness, because we only think in our own benefit.
“Selfish persons are incapable of loving others, but they are not capable of loving themselves either.” – Erich Fromm
So which one are you going to choose? The key is to find a balance. We must love ourselves first, and follow our heart, and make our dreams a reality and do everything that makes us happy, because that is the only way we can help others and make others happy, but we should never do that in order to meet our own needs and desires at expense of the unhappiness of others. We should put ourselves in the first place as long as it benefits all of us.