We’ve been taught so wrongly. Everybody always tells me NOT to be selfish; it’s a bad trait. My parents, my teachers, my elders, everybody from whom I’ve ever sought knowledge told me the same thing. ‘Don’t be selfish my dear, don’t just think about yourself.’ Because they were told the same. They are merely passing the baton. But I shall not. I shall keep it with me and destroy it when the time comes. And the time is now. From now on, I shall be selfish.
What does being selfish even mean? It means caring about your own damned good and doing what’s best for YOURSELF. But I never did that, I’d been taught wrongly, no. But had I been encouraged to be selfish, I wouldn’t have cut down the banyan tree in my backyard to build a garage. But I did. I didn’t think about myself. I thought about my car.
Had I been encouraged to be selfish, I wouldn’t have installed the air conditioner in all of our rooms. But I did, because all I thought was about impressing my guests. Had I been encouraged to be selfish, I wouldn’t have ordered online every week just to waste endless sheets of bubble wrap and only to find my dustbin overflowing with cardboard boxes. But I did. I only cared about how many décor items my house was filled with.
Had I been encouraged to be selfish, I wouldn’t have bought that farmhouse amidst a forest because there is no green in the city anymore. But I did. Because all I cared about was that my colleague had two more farmhouses in two more forests. And I didn’t. Yet.
Had I been encouraged to be selfish, I would’ve realised that none of these things actually matter because none of them are actually good for me. Had I been encouraged to be selfish, I would’ve have learnt that ignorance is not bliss, and that giving a damn actually matters. Had I been encouraged to be selfish, I probably would have realised that planting more trees, not contributing to any form of pollution, not killing animals, not producing excessive waste, not harming the environment are actually the most selfish things we can do out there because they are what ultimately decide the length of my existence. Had I been encouraged to be selfish, I would have done a lot more than I do now. But you see, I have been taught wrongly, and so have you.
But today, I shall stop. You should too. Let us be selfish. The most anyone has ever been. Let us do everything we can to make this planet a little better. Let us do as much as we need to save our own existence. Let us be selfish. Because we didn’t do it for any other reasons, maybe, just maybe, we’ll do it for ourselves?
The gestalt principles state that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. So maybe if you, I and everyone does their part, the whole planet will be much better than what we intended it to be.
This is the script of my performance at the Kommune story slam. Check out the video below!