COVID-19 & The Limits of Selfishness!

⚠️ THE LIMITS OF SELFISHNESS! ⚠️

Most of us at this point have experienced significant life changes with COVID-19. It’s not just affecting our daily lives but also in how we live them. 🗺️

I know some of you will read what I just said and go: “YEAH, THAT’S PUTTING IT LIGHTLY, DONALD!” 🤬

By no means do I mean to sound like I’m downgrading the situation. I’m taking every preventative measure advised by the CDC and WHO. 💯

I also have loved ones who are way more susceptible than I am to experiencing severe symptoms, so I feel an even bigger responsibility to protect them at this time! 🛡️

I urge you all to take this seriously. 𝐉𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐨𝐫 𝐈 𝐦𝐚𝐲 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐝 𝐬𝐲𝐦𝐩𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐍𝐎𝐓 𝐚𝐧 𝐞𝐱𝐜𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟𝐢𝐬𝐡! I don’t think you really want to fathom the possibility that your careless actions could be the cause of your loved one’s deaths. I sure don’t! 👍

Speaking of which, I’ve recently become fascinated in seeing people’s responses to the whole situation. 🔎

IT’S BEEN ALL OVER THE PLACE! ↔️

The Anxious One treats it like it’s the apocalypse. Scrambling through the local stores like a scavenger, they overflow their cart with the essentials. But those “essentials” may also include lots of toilet paper, guns, and ammunition. 😨

The Entrepreneurial One treats it like it’s a business opportunity. Reportedly there was 1 man who drove 1,300 miles across Tennessee and Kentucky to hoard 18,000 bottles of hand sanitizer just so he could resell them online for prices as high as $70 each. 🤑

The Paranoid One treats it as a confirmation to their distrust and cynicism. Their prejudices towards China, foreign governments and their citizens are amplified. They see they have been given permission to tell others they “know what’s REALLY going on”. Tyranny is coming for us all! 👥

The Carefree One treats it like it’s all hype and there’s no reason for concern. Large groups of people were still found to be gathering on Miami’s beaches to celebrate their Spring Break. 1 college student told reporters: “If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not going to let it stop me from partying.” 🍺

So, what am I supposed to take from all this?! 🤦‍♂️

If there’s one common thread I can find, and from the many more responses I’ve seen as of late, it’s our inherent selfishness, right on display! 🎯

BUT WAIT! Before I come off sounding like a cynical person myself, let me explain! This post is NOT going to be a polemic! 💯

First off, selfishness is not fundamentally bad! We need it for our survival, for our self-preservation, for us to develop skills like independence, self-reliance, and self-love. ❤️

In my own life, selfishness has been a HUGE gift for me to work on myself and become a better person! 💪

If we as humans didn’t possess any sort of selfishness, our lifespans would be cut drastically short! We’d have no motivation to preserve the 1 life we have now! 💀

So, as I like to say: LET’S NOT THROW OUT THE BABY WITH THE BATHWATER! 😅

Yes, we do need selfishness. But what I’m also saying is we don’t need it to the extent our ancestors did thousands of years ago when they were fighting saber-toothed tigers in the wild! 🐯

Because in these rough times, our selfishness:

👎 Has cost us to go in droves to our local stores and hoard excess amounts of items

👎 Has cost us to run out of essential medical supplies and N95 masks for doctors on the frontlines caring for sick patients

👎 Has cost us to needlessly blame each other and mass groups of people we’ve never met

👎 Has cost us to not take information and guidelines from authorities like the CDC and WHO seriously

Selfishness may be the easiest tool for us to use because it’s part of our nature. But it’s also the easiest tool for us to abuse because we so often use it unconsciously. 🔨

Our perception of ourselves and the world is filtered entirely through an Ego of Me! 🧠

As writer David Foster Wallace put it:

“𝘞𝘦 𝘳𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘭, 𝘣𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘤 𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧-𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘥𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘪𝘵’𝘴 𝘴𝘰 𝘴𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘶𝘭𝘴𝘪𝘷𝘦. 𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘪𝘵’𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘺 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘰𝘧 𝘶𝘴. 𝘐𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘥𝘦𝘧𝘢𝘶𝘭𝘵 𝘴𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘥-𝘸𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘰𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘴 𝘢𝘵 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩. 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘪𝘵: 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒏𝒐 𝒆𝒙𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒂𝒃𝒔𝒐𝒍𝒖𝒕𝒆 𝒄𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒐𝒇.

𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 𝘢𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘪𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘠𝘖𝘜 𝘰𝘳 𝘣𝘦𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘠𝘖𝘜, 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘦𝘧𝘵 𝘰𝘳 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘠𝘖𝘜, 𝘰𝘯 𝘠𝘖𝘜𝘙 𝘛𝘝 𝘰𝘳 𝘠𝘖𝘜𝘙 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘰 𝘰𝘯. 𝘖𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦’𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘩𝘰𝘸, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘴𝘰 𝘪𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘦, 𝘶𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘵, 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭.”

So even if a part of me wants to perform an act of moral grandstanding here for you and pretend I’m the most selfless person in the world, I’d be lying! I acknowledge the parts of me that are highly selfish! 🙋‍♂️

The only difference may be in how much I allow this selfish part of me to control my life. 🎮

𝐀𝐧𝐝 𝐲𝐞𝐭…

I have hope. I like to believe there eventually does comes a point in a person’s maturity where one becomes more aware of their selfish ways and discovers a new paradigm, where they see selfishness no longer has to be the sum of their life. 🙌

This realization hit for me at a point in my life! 💥

I like to believe there’s a point where one sets down their Ayn Rand egoism and over time more easily remembers how:

🤯 There are 7.7 billion other people on this planet

🤯 That the world doesn’t revolve around us but around the sun

🤯 That our planet is just 1 of many inside a galaxy we call the Milky Way

🤯 That our galaxy is just 1 out of an estimated 2 trillion galaxies

🤯 That these galaxies extend within a universe estimated to be 93 billion light-years in diameter and is continually expanding…

🗣️ “WELL, WHEN YOU PUT IT THAT WAY DONALD…!” 🗣️

We can pretend we’re each the Center of the Universe, but actually we are just, as astrophysicist Carl Sagan called our planet Earth: “a mote of dust”. 🌎

Or to present you the same point I’m making but in a more direct way, I’ll use the lyrics of Kendrick Lamar: “Sit down. Be humble.” 😎

So again, it’s easy for us to be selfish. As Wallace put it, it’s our ‘𝘥𝘦𝘧𝘢𝘶𝘭𝘵 𝘴𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨’. But it’s REALLY hard to stay selfish at the forefront of your life when you embrace bigger perspectives of the world and our place within it, intellectually and especially emotionally. 🌌

So what now? What can we do, each of us, in order to become a little less selfish? I’ll leave you again with the words of Wallace ⬇️:

“𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒊𝒎𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒇 𝒇𝒓𝒆𝒆𝒅𝒐𝒎 𝒊𝒏𝒗𝒐𝒍𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒂𝒘𝒂𝒓𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒄𝒊𝒑𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒆, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒃𝒆𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂𝒃𝒍𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒍𝒚 𝒄𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒑𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒂𝒄𝒓𝒊𝒇𝒊𝒄𝒆 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒎 𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒊𝒏 𝒎𝒚𝒓𝒊𝒂𝒅 𝒑𝒆𝒕𝒕𝒚, 𝒖𝒏𝒔𝒆𝒙𝒚 𝒘𝒂𝒚𝒔 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒅𝒂𝒚. ❤️

𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘰𝘮 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘶𝘯𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘤𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘧𝘢𝘶𝘭𝘵 𝘴𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘢𝘵 r𝘢𝘤𝘦, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘨𝘯𝘢𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘢𝘥, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘵, 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨.” 🌌

So as we continue about our days, I encourage you all to remember these words. There is a time and place for the individual, but right now the time has come to turn our focuses towards the collective. 👪

And no, that doesn’t automatically make me a “Communist” for saying that! 😜

If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for your loved ones. Do it because the voice in your head tells you it’s the right thing to do. Do it so you remind your survival brain who is the one that’s in charge of your life! ✊

𝐃𝐨 𝐢𝐭 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐚 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐩𝐮𝐫𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐡 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠. ❤️

2 thoughts on “COVID-19 & The Limits of Selfishness!

  1. True. selfishness & insensitivity cause the surge of COVID-19 on the second week of Shelter In Place all over America . Many ignored the plea & warnings , & now were the most infected beating China & Italy . I hope & pray everyone wakes up & do their part in stopping this virus once & for all.

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