I recently read the account of a golf superintendent nearly killed by a selfish golfer. Struck in the head by a golf ball without warning, he received a grade 3 concussion that may leave him with permanent brain damage. Suffering caused by a selfish golfer.
Are you selfishly generous or selfishly self-righteous?
There is a movement toward selfishness; looking out for number one as an act of generosity. While I certainly agree with that notion, perhaps a better distinction will help people, like this selfish golfer, understand the difference between selfish generosity and selfish self-righteousness.
Selfish generosity means you’ve taken time to clarify the personal meaning of happiness. You’re actively making choices and communicating to others in order to create an environment that supports your happiness and meets your needs. Generosity flows easily as a by-product of your selfishness because when you’re happy and full you have plenty to share and do so freely.
Selfish self-righteousness is the opposite. This resembles the immature 2 year-old grabbing on impulse to gratify. Happiness hasn’t been clarified so actions are random, impulsive, self-justified, and conducted with entitlement. This person is too distracted by his entitlement to have considered the harmful consequences to others that may result. Generosity is impossible because this person never feels he has enough.
Selfishly Care For Others
Using the unfortunate experience of the golf superintendent as an example, the selfishly generous golfer would have first clarified that playing golf within a community of like-minded people makes him happy. Therefore, his actions would include the safety and happiness of the community and would have meant making sure that everyone was out of harm’s way before taking his shot. The safety of the superintendent would have been selfishly important to the golfer because it meant continued access to golf and continued acceptance in the community. Everyone wins and everyone goes home happy.
Unfortunately, it seems the golfer in this story was confused about selfishness. Thankfully the superintendent is surrounded by others who aren’t. A selfishly generous friend rushed him to the hospital and he is being cared for by a selfishly generous fiancé.
Blog first published as A Selfish Golfer on Technorati.