Everyone is selfish. To one extent or another, every single person is selfish. It’s in our nature.
We’re made in the image of God and God wants to be praised. Even though we’re supposed to be praising him, how can we escape that tugging inside for someone to acknowledge and “praise” us?
Even the most humanly selfless person has at one time or another (probably many times) had a selfish thought, impulse, action, etc.
But it’s all relative isn’t it?
We each have our limits of the amount of selfishness that we can tolerate in other people. There’s always a line between “well, we’re all a little selfish, so I can understand this” and “who does she think she is? The world does not actually revolve around her!!”
There’s also a limit that each of us can stand selfishness in ourselves. And that limit is as individual as we are. What one person thinks is selfish, another person might not. Or two people can look at the same thing as selfish but one thinks it’s a reasonable amount and the other can’t imagine ever being that selfish.
The problem isn’t that we’re all a little selfish, the problem is that our limits, our boundaries, our opinions on selfishness all differ.
So when a co-worker is an incredibly selfish person in your eyes, but in their eyes they are not very selfish at all- sparks fly. Heads butt. Battles are started. Tension rises.
It’s true of many situations. From the “tiny” things like one little kid not sharing with another...
to “regular” things like leaving a mess for your co-workers to handle when you go on vacation...
to “big” things like one country feeling that another country is making selfish decisions and in their mind it constitutes war.
(yes, I am aware this is a scene from "Saving Private Ryan")
To see a genuinely self-less person is not only rare, it can sometimes be somewhat off-putting. People don’t understand.
Some stand in awe and wish they could be like that person (knowing that they will never make the effort to change)...
some try to ignore it or push it away, others try to find anything to pin against that person to “bring them down a level.”
Just think of how different the world would be if every single person did one (additional) self-less thing a day. No recognition, no praise, no benefit of any kind.
At the age of 5, my niece started a crusade against litter.
She would bring bags to the park and school playground and pick up garbage. She was outraged that anyone would litter and pollute the world.
When she picked up litter, it was not for recognition, it was the simple fact that it needed to be done and she was going to do it.
That’s the mind of a child. What can adults do in complete self-lessness?