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The Selfish Nature of Humans

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The selfish nature of humans

Selfishness. A personality trait that only bad people have. Incorrect. Selfishness is part of the nature of every living human being. Despite what all humans may believe selfishness is a part of all of us and is the driving force behind everything we do. In order to survive humans must be selfish and think of their own needs above other peoples. We must be selfish to our surrounding environment by using the resources essential to humans that our environment bears. Strangely enough it is often considered an insult to be called selfish.

All the people I questioned perceived selfishness as being a bad personal quality to hold when they were first asked what they thought of selfishness. Though when the topic was given consideration some interesting discoveries were made. According to the Oxford dictionary being selfish is being ‘concerned with one’s own interests or pleasure.’ Do we not all, if only in our thoughts, put our own interests first? A very informative web site on human nature stated that selfishness is around us all the time and if selfishness did not exist there would be no motivation for humans to do anything. Doing simple things like feeding ourselves is being selfish because we do not feed ourselves to fulfil the needs of another. When selfishness is given deep thought it can be considered to be a positive thing in some cases.

Absolutely everything humans do is selfish. Selfish acts are constantly being carried out by humans towards one another. The extent of these selfish actions vary widely because it includes every action that humans make. They range from the extremely selfish of taking another’s life in order to gain something for yourself to the mildly selfish of doing voluntary work for a charity in order to “help society,” but ultimately to give yourself the satisfaction of knowing you have done a good deed. Extremely selfish people are often marked in history for negative reasons. A famous example of this is Adolf Hitler. Hitler’s racist want for a large, strong nation of Aryan people was the main driving force behind World War Two. In order for him to succeed in gaining this nation he was prepared to have many non-Aryan people killed and consequently millions of lives were taken in the world war that was also related to Hitler’s want for a large nation. Humans are often mildly selfish to one another without even realising it. When we do something for ourselves we are putting our own interests before those of someone else’s. Therefore making our own interests of chief concern.

Since the beginning of man kind humans have thought of themselves as better than our surrounding natural environment. We have always believed that our interests are more important than those of the plants and native bushes around us. Our surrounding environment is perceived by us as a resource. Trees are constantly being cut down to make way for human progress in the form of roads and buildings. Toxic gases are emitted into our atmosphere from motorised vehicles and large factories. Our interests and needs are fulfilled by our natural environment and it is selfishly not given a second thought. It is estimated that fifty million tribal

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