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The problem with our education system

World, Federal, Provincial, Municipal, Central Saanich Municipality No Comments »

is the good teachers are under paid; the bad teachers are over paid.

The Virtue of Selfishness

World 2 Comments »

Looking out for your own self interest, or selfishness, is often looked down upon as a negative character trait. I disagree. Looking out for your own self interest is a virtue. We are all responsible for our own lives and are obliged in our individual pursuits of happiness to look out for our own self interest. The problem is in how each individual perceives their best interest, which can be broke down into two different categories, short term selfishness and long term selfishness.

Short term selfishness is where the negative perception of selfishness comes from. Individuals who don’t look past the next week of their life, and in some cases the next 10 minutes, often make poor decisions that affect their future in a detrimental way. Some examples of this would be a drug addict looking for a fix, a criminal robbing a store, an employee slacking off, or even something as simple as throwing a piece of garbage out on the side of the road. In all these cases, the individual is doing what they perceive will make their life easier, more enjoyable and happier. Because of the short scope of time they are taking into consideration, they are missing the big picture of the consequences of their actions.

Long term selfishness is what its all about. Individuals that look far into their future end up leading much more productive and happier lives. Let take the examples from the previous paragraph. The drug addict, thinking with “long term selfishness”, would be able to see the dead end road that drugs lead to. The criminal would see that although it only took them 5minites to rob someone, when you add the years they do in jail, the $ per hr make it more worthwhile to get a job. The employee slacking off would see that if he were to put in the extra effort, his long term interest would be served in the form of raises, promotions, and other benefits. The person who litters would see that he ends up paying for the trash he throws out on the side of the road in higher taxes to pay clean up crews and damage to the environment.

Selfishness is not what is wrong with the world, “short term selfishness” is. I propose we promote thinking in terms of “long term selfishness”.

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