This is a question to which I have given a great deal of thought over the years.
Bat said of me, "He was selfish and of a perverse nature, characteristics not calculated to make a man popular on the frontier."
I have fingered this coin - this token - until its face has worn in my fingers, considering and contemplating, during sleepless nights. How could he say this of me? What is selfishness? There are and have been things I wanted very much indeed. So many things were taken from me, so many things were denied me. My will is strong, and my diligence. I do not give up until I spin, turning my back, casting aside one more precious thing. I can wait. I can study and practice to the point of miracle.
I hold myself right. I will not bend, unless I myself decide it best. Is this selfish? I act always for what I deem best. To still the possibility of regret. Loss and sorrow. So much pain. Memories held and cherished and built into faerie towers - every block true. But I do not leave room for others decisions and - to my mind muddled - musings as to what is right or best. I act, as I deem best of all. For good. Pride is a virtue. Is this selfishness?
To me it would be selfish to do less; to bend to peevishness or carelessness or momentary desire or weakness, just for that - so much less than nothing. It is selfish to do the wrong thing just to avoid this designation as a selfish man.
I confuse myself over this. I love. Oh, I love so much. Selfishness confuses me in love. This notion is what makes me hesitate to allow myself to receive love. Or give love. Is it selfish, to want another to touch or hold one? I worry, becoming restless. It gives me such pleasure to hold, to touch. Is it selfish to so indulge myself, so full of feeling and fulfilled want? As I allow others to love me, I feel selfish. As I am loving towards them, I feel happy, so I feel selfish. I wish very much to make others happy, but when I feel that allowing them to love me is making them happy, which makes me happy, then it seems selfish. When I deny them the opportunity to love me, then I am being selfish in maintaining my own lack of selfishness, which perhaps they would also like to exert within themselves. Ah, it seems convoluted, but it is not nonsensical. It goes on always, spinning around itself like an ever-expanding galaxy.
I am learning to put it aside; learning to love; learning to let others love me. Learning.
I have been undeniably selfish of people. I was selfish of Wyatt; in the end I had to leave him because of that. I was selfish of my mama. I wanted The Major to hold me first and best - more than that. I wanted him to hold me the only
one. In my defence, people have meant so much to me. It is good to care for them and value them. It is one area in which I am
perhaps weak with desire and want, beyond reason. I must guard against it. Bat's words have brought the issue of selfishness to my attention, hard and cold though they were.
When do wants become selfish? I do not want a great deal. But when it does happen that I want something, I want it very much, with prior consideration, and for good reason. If I take the trouble to take the risk of wanting something, I mean to have it. I will not be gainsaid until I have it, unless I myself judge that having it would be wrong. Yet I do not think this is selfish. Selfishness implies triviality and whim. If one allows oneself to want something, one is risking, willing to sacrifice other things in order to attain it.
I want to be a good man; to live up to my family motto; to do that which would have made my mama proud of me; to be worthy of my friends; to be a good example for His glory. Above all, that is what I want. I will sacrifice anything, including myself, to do that.
Is that selfish?
I work hard in order to be best at several things. Best. Not 'better than some others.' Best. I work hard with determination. I will not relent or do less.
Is that selfish?Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Word Count: 763
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus