We’re all a bit selfish aren’t we? Don’t lie, you are. Even if you donate half your wage to a orphanage in a remote village in Peru or share everything you own including your green shit stained underwear after having salmonella for 8 days, you at times are a bit selfish. It’s perfectly normal, natural and doesn’t mean you are a fully fledged member of the ‘I’m a selfish person’ club, where you don’t get any free stuff as the leader of the club keeps all the perks for themselves.
It’s not a bad thing to be selfish at times. You have to for your own happiness and to look out for yourself. At times you have to put yourself and your happiness first, like if you’re in a relationship you’re not happy with or just miserable in what you’re doing in life. If you don’t be a little bit selfish you’ll end up being secretly upset, annoyed or down right miserable, and you don’t want that. There’s times though we are a little bit too selfish and take things for granted which isn’t good, but we’ve all done it and all been an almost member of the ‘I’m a selfish person club’.
Everyone knows why we shouldn’t be a selfish person and how it can make you a grade A arsehole, but it’s the taking things for granted part that gets a little bit overlooked. Does taking things for granted make you selfish? It can, but depends on the situation. Selfishness and taking things for granted are two separate entities that are closely linked, like sex and gender (yes they’re two separate things, you are factually wrong if you disagree). Taking peoples kindness, generosity and helpfulness for granted makes you that grade A arsehole, but taking the smaller things in life for granted doesn’t.
Taking the small things for granted is something that we shouldn’t do, but can’t help doing at times, especially those of us in first world nations. We first world nation residents are the worst for taking things for granted, to the point that we take almost everything for granted. We’re lucky to be able to live where we live, to be from where we’re from (especially if you’re Scottish for obvious reasons), to have the opportunities we have and to be able to freely call Boris Johnson a useless pile of shit and a general cunt without being sent to a hard labour camp. Our lives are something we take for granted, even the simple things such as being able to walk to the fridge to get some food, and being simply able to breathe that sweet, sweet oxygen we can’t live without.
No matter how much we try not to take things for granted in life we’re always going to, if we mean to do so or not, and that’s ok. We just need to acknowledge and know that things could be much worse and we’re lucky to have some things that other people dream about, even down to things such as our height, hair, and even how you can’t physically stick your tongue over your top lip, which only the sexiest and most amazing of people can’t physically do (me).
Yet knowing that life is harder for someone else won’t necessarily make you feel better and perk you up, especially if you, like myself, suffer with mental health conditions. And it’s perfectly fine that it doesn’t. People seem to think that, if you think about how it’s worse for other people you will be miraculously cured of your depression because you thought of little Timmy in South Sudan who’s living in a war zone, or Gertrude who lost all her limbs from a flesh eating bug, and that you’ll suddenly be all perky and cheery in life all the time. You know things could be worse off. You know you’re lucky. But you don’t live the same life as them and deal with different problems, everyone is different and does things differently. Does that make you a bad person and selfish? Nope, not at all. You acknowledge and know that it could be worse and that’s all that’s needed for a passing grade.
No matter how you’re feeling and what you’re doing in life, it’s important to at times sit back, take everything in and acknowledge everything you take for granted in life. It won’t make you any happier in life and being told about a starving child in the Congo would die to eat the beetroots, brussel sprouts and mushy pea’s on your plate will not make you want to eat them, but just acknowledge your position to be able to freely do so.
I guess at times you have got to sit back and acknowledge the things you continuously and unconsciously take for granted, even if it’s something small like being able to easily go to the beach or having fingernails to chew on for your dinner.
Swankie – 24, Scotland. Loveable Loser.