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I would like to see a lot more selfishness on this site. I see way too much name-calling, hatred, vitriol, and downright meanness being directed from one Kossack to another. I would really like to see it stop, or at least be significantly reduced.

What the hell am I talking about, you say? Can't one define meanness and the rest as selfishness? I suppose you could. But I don't. Just how do I define selfishness, you say? Follow me below the fold to find out.

I define selfishness as the act of doing what is in your long-term best interest, regardless of what others think about it.

Punching a jerk in the face might be very gratifying at the time, but it just might not be in your long-term best interest. After all, they may punch back. They may press charges. Or, you may feel bad about yourself for doing it.

Calling your congressman or senator, as joanneleon so aptly asks is a selfish act. Why? Lots of reasons. You may help to get them to help stop the cutting of entitlements that the poor so desperately need, and you might feel very good about yourself for having done that. You might not feel so powerless afterwards, nor so guilty because you knew that you could have helped, but you did nothing.

Donating money to a worthy cause, if you have the money to spare, is a VERY selfish act. Why? Well, how do you feel about yourself after you do? How long does that feeling stay with you? If you have donated to a charity or to a fellow Kossack in need, how did that make you feel?

Calling a fellow Kossack a liar is not a selfish act. It may seem appropriate (and true) at the time, but is it in your long-term best interest? If you actually did that, or if you saw someone else here do it, did you notice that the 'liar' did not say "you know, you're right. I see your point and I've decided you were right and I was wrong." No, I didn't think so. If you are trying to make this person see your point of view, name-calling is not very effective. It only stresses you and them out. True, they may be stressing YOU out, but you know the old adage about an eye for an eye, and what that does for everyone's eyesight.

It is my contention that anger, invectives, perjoratives, and general meanness is not in your long-term best interest. You won't win ANY arguments or persuade anyone doing that. All it will do is raise everyone's stress levels. Including your own. So please everyone, be a little more selfish, will ya?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Interesting diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    navajo, translatorpro, 4Freedom

    T & R'd for a call for civility, even though calling this "selfishness" and the diary title smack too much to me of Ayn Rand's The Virtue of Selfishness, which is a polemic against altruism and in favor of green and meanness.

    I can't stand Randroids, not that you're one but there are too many out there ranting these days, especially in Congress.

    Organ donors save multiple lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me and in others. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate and sign up to give others the gift of life.

    by Kitsap River on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 01:39:59 PM PDT

  •  You might like this new book (4+ / 0-)

    by Bruce Levine:

    Levine, a psychologist, says Americans fail to stand up for themselves against the corporatocracy because the corporatocracy intentionally (and inadvertently) beats them down and erodes their dignity and confidence.  One way it does that is by pitting groups against each other so that neither is paying attention to the manipulator behind the curtain.

    So, here we are doing the corporatocracy's evil work for them.

    Levine says we should be nice to each other---including those who have different political views--and combine our efforts against the formidable power of the oligarchs.

    Everyone should read that book.

  •  A solidarity tip and rec (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitsap River, 4Freedom

    from me, too. Didn't see this until this morning, Bill, as I am on Central European Time. Interesting perspective, and a heartfelt wish, which we can all share.

    A proud supporting member of Native American Netroots

    by translatorpro on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 11:18:12 PM PDT

  •  The long view is the only way to effect real (0+ / 0-)

    change. Heated exchanges go nowhere, change no minds, and accomplish little.

    Cooperation, selfishness, civility, whatever you choose to call it is the way we will be able to work together over the long haul. We need this perspective because it has taken decades to degrade our society, and it is going to take years to rebuild what we have lost because of the greed of a few powerful individuals who have purchased their way into influencing the very laws, courts and government of our country.

    Hate is going on in this world and it has to stop. Hate causes a lifetime of pain. ~ Mark Stroman 7/20/11

    by 4Freedom on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 11:11:59 AM PDT

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