Let Us Be Truly Selfless

People say “What is wrong with being selfish?” Selfishness is taboo in religion. It is considered the root cause of all the ills afflicting the human race. Is it so? Let us dispassionately examine the truth about selfishness.

Take, for instance, the concept of incognito donation. We are told that charity should be performed without any desire for name and fame. IF a charitable act is done with pomp and show at least fifty per cent of its merit is said to be lost. One is entitled to more returns is charity is done in such a way that “the left hand does not know what the right hand donates”.

There is the concept of selfless action in religion. Our duty is to perform actions without seeking its fruit. But the bitter-sweet fruit of action follows it inevitably. The true meaning is: “If you first look for the fruit or reward and then perform actions, it will get reduced. The fruit of actions follows it like a shadow.

It cannot be denied that self-interest takes precedence over all other interests. It is a natural and perhaps, the most powerful motivating force. However, charity must be performed with no thought of self-benefit.

Extracted from 'Self Empowerment' by Bridget Menezes (Malaysian author)


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