Speech #8 – The Value Of Selfishness

People often ask or remark upon my confidence and positive outlook. Why are you so happy? You always have a smile on your face. How are you so confident? Thank you for building up my self-esteem. The atmosphere around you is always cheery. You have a great aura. I really appreciate your kindness. Doing awesome again?

You betcha!!!

Now, I have bad days like everyone else. I’ll sulk or be depressed, but overall I am rip roaring ready to have an amazing time. I work hard, and play harder. I have an eclectic range of interests and I am always willing to try something new, even if I “know” that I’ll look the fool. I’m a big boy, I can take it.

I’ve been subjected to some of the most degrading, offensive and humiliating acts that can be perpetrated upon another human being. I’ve been abandoned by so called friends in the wilderness, far from civilization, alone with nothing but the clothes on my back. Seen my friend murdered and gasp his last breath in my arms at the tender age of seven. Had another friend drown a few years after that, right before me, whom I was unable to save. I’ve been beaten, gotten away, beaten again and chased all the way home. Sexually assaulted several times throughout my life by both genders, all people “close” to me. I’ve even been shot at, though that was accidental. Still, quite the experience. And a few other things I’ll not bother to share.

I have more cause than most to perhaps be what a lot of people become after such instances, damaged and broken. They despise life and hate people. And in a lot of cases, they feel guilt and shame in what has happened to them.

So how have I kept my confidence, sanity and jovial nature throughout all of this? Selfishness, plain and simple. I value myself too much to let what happened to me ruin my life. I enjoy and revel in the strength I have found to overcome what I was not able to prevent in my younger years.

My happiness or lack thereof is not defined by what has happened to me, or derived from those people who abused me in the past. Why not? Because they don’t matter.

I define what is of value to me, and who is of value to me. And that, is pure and simple selfishness. Others do not define how I feel, or how I act. Not unless I let them. And I’ll tell you, it is truly amazing to not feel beholden to people who couldn’t give a damn about you.

For all the times you tried to make someone happy and they turned their nose up at you. For every time you went out of your way, against your better judgment to help someone and they didn’t even care. For every time you put someone else’s wishes above your own… all of the times you went against your own self-interest are times that you told yourself that you value that person, someone who quite obviously does NOT value you, more than you value yourself.

And therein lies your problem. And it’s not all your fault, we have been beaten senseless since our youngest days that “Our happiness lies in making other people happy.” What a terribly servile and welfare state proclamation that is.

Now please do not take this to mean that we can and should just do everything to greedily serve ourselves and not give a care for ANYONE else, that would be absolutely insane. Unless you’re going to go live alone in the wilderness, you simply can’t do that. Not if you value yourself. Because we all have friends, and family, and cherished ones that we admire and respect. And through making ourselves happy, we can in turn make them happy. It really is THAT simple.

And you’ll quickly find out who doesn’t really appreciate you as a person, when you stop inconveniencing yourself for other’s sake. When the leeches and lechers and hangers-on blow away like so much garbage in the wind, you’ll have around you those who truly care for you. And those are the people who matter. The people who WANT you to be good to yourself, to take care of yourself, to be happy and feel awesome. And while you help them, they in turn help you. And you can both be selfishly content together.

What a concept!

The Value of Selfishness is that when you have a sense of self-worth, do not allow yourself to be taken advantage of and refuse to become the victim not only do you improve your own lot in life, but you support those closest to you in achieving the same. Don’t you want those you love to think well of themselves? Doesn’t it upset you when you seem them being taken advantage of? Or how about when, instead of doing something about a situation, they become the victim and in doing so validate another’s actions. Why shouldn’t we want these things for ourselves?

All of these things about more can be yours, if you simply believe in yourself that you have the strength inside to choose and decide what actions you take and which ones you don’t.

So I would invite you to be a little more selfish, and in doing so become a pillar of happiness, confidence and individuality that others can come to understand as something that is not just a positive outlook on life, but is simply the greatest way to live. And if they ask why? You can confidently reply, “Because I said so.”

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