BATANG MINDANAW: Being Selfish Is the Better Alternative

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/29 August) — My mother, a teacher, wanted to make herself look glamorous for an event at school. To complete her get-up, all that she needed now were matching boots.

I had just the pair.  They were covered in jet black latex-like cloth, and, last I measured, the heels were three inches high. I had purchased them online and, if I remember correctly, those boots cost three thousand pesos. Those boots were my first birthday present to myself. I did my best to save enough money just to purchase them, and believe me; it took me months to save up!

Being a good daughter, I agreed to let her borrow it, trusting her to take good care of it.
Unfortunately, rather than putting them on just before her event, she opted to wear them immediately upon leaving the house, putting the shoes in contact with the muddy soil of our driveway, letting the heels crunch on the dirty gravel of the roadside and then, onto the dusty and blistering surface of the highway; scraping on nasty little pebbles and withering from the heat of the asphalt.

Sadly, as the day ended, so did my beloved boots.  Ruined beyond repair, the cloth that covered the collars were so frayed that the brown base inside had made a premature appearance.  Scuff marks were all over the once-impeccable sheen of its surface, and the heels were subjected to so much friction that they became dreadfully flattened.

I did not cry.

In fact, I even expected them to be returned that way, for this was not the first time this happened. By now, I’m quite used to it, actually; from torn magazine pages to gravy splotches on page seventy-nine of a certain book of mine; from broken zippers on my jeans to stained wool sweaters.

So what’s the solution to prevent these things from ever happening again? I can only think of one. And it’s actually the best solution.

Be selfish!

Why?

Nevermore shall your cherished possessions be destroyed by a borrower. What is yours won’t ever get lost because of negligence on the part of those who do not value it as much as you do.  No harm done because you wouldn’t let them in the first place.

This motto can also be applied in school or at work. YOU spent all night studying; why should THEY copy your work?!!  YOU strained your eyes doing the research, why should THEY get equal credit for your report?!!

The saying, “it is better to give than to receive,” doesn’t even apply!!!  Because part of the deal of being selfish is also learning to be independent and self-reliant.  It doesn’t mean that you are greedy or covetous!  It just means that you aren’t… altruistic.

What’s more: you can use selfish desires to motivate yourself to succeed!!  Many people have actually become very successful while being selfish and, in reality, a lot of these people include hypocrites who claim that being selfish is wrong.

Another benefit from being selfish is immunity from people who like taking advantage of others. These slackers and users, when trying to exploit a selfish person will learn very quickly that they won’t get very far, and they will have no other option but to move on to another potential victim. A selfish person cannot be manipulated with guilt or coerced into doing things against their will.  Being selfish means that you can spend precious time doing the things you want and not what others want you to do.

There are certain instances when being selfish will have its disadvantages, but that’s how all things are — with pros and cons.  So, just play your cards right, choose the proper moments to be selfish, and the advantages won’t be outweighed by the disadvantages.

To be selfish or not — the choice is yours!  That in itself is selfish. (Liane Ilagan is a sophomore AB Psychology student at the Ateneo de Davao University. She cosplays and writes fan fiction when she’s not locked up in her room and rehabilitating books people borrow from her.)

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