posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 03:31 PM
The human mind is adept at many things, including knowing instinctively ideas to embrace and issues to face. In this case what it seems to be less
adept at grasping is how issues apply to Self. Perhaps this is a survival circuit. Self-criticism not being hard-wired into the brain, it is
learned. I believe because it makes us better social animals as well as preventing us from being harmfully self-deprecating. But it is definitely an
issue we learn to adapt, though not always in healthy or productive ways.
Ask a child why they did something "wrong" and why it is "wrong" and you likely receive the same answers, "Because I felt like it," and "I
don't know." And so the child is often instructed that the why and reason are selfishness.
The concept is valuable as it makes us more socially aware and adaptable to variances in culture and attitude. I see it as detrimental because it is
self-defeating, figuratively and literally.
If being "selfish" is wrong then looking at one's self is wrong. And so I see a common translation of this as pointing out the faults in others
that we often most need to examine in ourselves.
"He/She is so egotistical/selfish/greedy/etc! I can't stand that!"
My first thought when hearing something like this is that perhaps the complainant wouldn't be so bothered by the other person's ego if it weren't
cramping their own. Which is to say, what we find offensive, disruptive, angering, frustrating in others is often mirroring our own issues.
Of course common wisdom embraces this concept. And so we've often heard sayings like "What's good for the goose is good for the gander," or
"That's the pot calling the kettle black." But common wisdom has never illuminated the issue enough to resolve it.
So I wonder, will we ever get it?
(The opposite also exists, but I figured to focus on this side of the concept initially at least