I recently came to the conclusion that Jamaica is adopting a culture of selfishness. There was a time when if you opened a door for someone they would say “thank you”, or if you accidentally bumped into someone they would say “I’m sorry.” Presently, that is no longer the case. Individuals are forgetting simple courtesies such as: “excuse me”, “pardon me” and “you’re welcome”, to name a few. They are more focused on “me, me, me”. This culture of selfishness is now similar to that of the culture in The United States of America, where President Donald Trump has often spoken of putting America and America’s interest ahead of everyone else. Now don’t get me wrong, I do understand why he has said this and I agree to a certain extent. I agree that as nationals of a country we should look out for the interests of our countries first, however, we should always keep in mind that the success of our country is dependent on the assistance and business of other countries. In the same way as Jamaicans we need to remember that though some of us may be successful, it is not an excuse to forget or fail to be courteous to others. The same persons we do not exercise courtesy towards are most times the persons we depend on for our success. Basic customer service skills are greatly lacking from many of our business service individuals, our children fight each other over the simplest of things that can be resolved with a “I am sorry” and pedestrians are involved in daily arguments because they only care for themselves and not the other person passing by. This culture of selfishness is increasing daily. What is the cause of this culture of selfishness? How can we reduce this culture of selfishness? Here are Sharla’s Thoughts.
The English Oxford Living Dictionaries define selfishness as “lack of consideration for other people.” The culture of selfishness in Jamaica is derived from individuals who only consider their own thoughts, feelings and opinions. In doing so, they forget or do not consider the thoughts, feelings and opinions of others. I have concluded that the main reason why we have adopted this culture of selfishness is because of FEAR. We FEAR that if we help someone they may become more successful than we are. We FEAR that if we are kind to someone they may take advantage of us. We FEAR that all the hard work and sacrifices we have made will result in nothing, if we take the time to lend a helping hand. This FEAR is so powerful that we are convinced that the best option is to be mean, unkind and selfish towards others. This FEAR is understandable and I can relate as I have had moments where I am hesitant to consider others. I have had fears that anyone I help will take advantage of my kindness, and view me as weak and vulnerable.
So why do I keep helping? Why do I consider another person’s thoughts, feelings and opinions, and not just my own? I remember and never forget, that someone helped me. Someone took the time to consider my thoughts, feelings and opinions. Without the selflessness of those who have helped me, I would not be able to accomplish anything. We need to remember that without the kind words of encouragement or thoughtfulness of others, we would be victims of the selfishness that we are guilty of displaying.
We need to put ourselves in the positions of others before we act. When we start to consider how we would feel if someone was selfish towards us, then we will start to be more selfless. Look at it this way, when we take the time to consider someone else before ourselves, it will inspire others to consider us before themselves. Let us break the culture of selfishness. As the great Dalai Lama once said: “If you think only of yourself, if you forget the rights and well-being of others, or, worse still, if you exploit others, ultimately you will lose. You will have no friends who will show concern for your well-being. Moreover, if a tragedy befalls you, instead of feeling concerned, others might even secretly rejoice. By contrast, if an individual is compassionate and altruistic, and has the interests of others in mind, then irrespective of whether that person knows a lot of people, wherever that person moves, he or she will immediately make friends. And when that person faces a tragedy, there will be plenty of people who will come to help.” These are just a few of my selfless thoughts, tell me what you think.