Humans only act out of their self-interests
People show their true colors under pressure.
I was watching the opening scene of the web series named The White Lotus.
A dead body was found on the sea beach. After hearing the news the hotel owner came to talk with the hotel manager. The manager informed her that one guest had drowned.
The owner responded “It’s fine, the ocean is not hotel property. We can’t be liable for what happens in the Ionian sea!”
We must make trade-offs
We have limited resources in the world, be it money, energy, medicines, or time. So trade-offs are a must.
If your family goes missing during an earthquake, you will have to prioritize searching for them over others.
India is the largest exporter of rice. But amid the food shortage after the Ukraine crisis, the ministry needed to ban rice exports for some time to feed our people first.
We all want to do lots of tasks, but due to having limited time, we are forced to prioritize some tasks. Otherwise, nothing will get done.
Selflessness comes from a position of privilege
This is the most misunderstood part of human behavior in my experience.
According to the 3rd law of human psychology, we need to look at two things to understand human behavior - how much power the person holds and what is the motivation.
When a poor person acts selfishly, we judge their motivation.
Instead, it’s a problem of having a lack of power.
A poor person can’t be generous, even if they want to.
People show their true colors under pressure. Rich people can hide their primitive behaviors with their resources as they don’t face survival threats in everyday life.
We need more selfish people for a better society
Let me talk about the time when I was an ardent Cristiano Ronaldo fan.
I was introduced to football by watching videos of Ronaldo. He was beaten by Messi 4 times in a row, and that demeanor of an underdog hero attracted me a lot.
I changed my Facebook name to “Rohan Ronaldo Gayen” to look cool. I used Ronaldo’s photo as my profile picture. I argued with anyone who talked badly about him instead of studying.
From the outside, the support given by fans seems like a selfless act. They support someone without expecting anything in return.
But this is a big illusion.
I had very low self-esteem at that time. I didn’t have the confidence to put my own picture on Facebook, so I used the fame of Ronaldo. I had nothing good to talk about myself so I used the achievements of Ronaldo to show off and feel good about myself.
I was a leech!
Ronaldo doesn’t need my support. He has built his empire with his hard work. He can contribute to charities because he has the money. I decided to focus on my own life and now I can contribute to charities myself instead of boasting about how much money Ronaldo has contributed.
As we discussed in the opening paragraph, the hotel owner only cared for her own interests despite a tragic event happening at that place.
We can judge her for being insensitive and lacking empathy, but we all succumb to this behavior under pressure. It’s in our human instinct to think about our survival first. It’s part of our subconscious mind.
So the moral of the story is, we have to take care of our self-interests first. We should not expect others to help us. And if we are in a place of privilege, we can help people in need. That will make the whole society a better place.
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