Self-love is definitely not selfishness. They are both originations from one source; the mind. But are inspired differently. The value if self-love over selfishness cannot be overemphasized. It is very much needed for life.
Self-love and selfishness are identical twin siblings we hardly differentiate because they share similar characteristics. Let me use the two sided coin to describe Self-love and selfishness. However, with a careful and conscious look or perusal of the due, you realize the difference. Many times, they serve the purpose which is to please someone, to bring happiness.
WHAT DO THESE COMPUND WORDS MEAN?
Self-love means taking care of one's self and making sure to meet ones needs through any means available. It refers to giving oneself attention and priority while avoiding any situation that would lead to sadness stress or pain via morally accepted means. Note that it does not involve surpressing or taking advantage of others. This is where selfishness comes in.
Selfishness on the other hand refers to seeking joy, conform, happiness through every means possible, morally or immorally which includes taking undue advantage of others for your intentions. Where selfishness is at the expense and disadvantage of others, self love is not. A selfish person would rather spend resources on leisure than do charity. A person with self-love would rather pay attention to his or her health and not do leisure to charity.
Mr. Rancho is a skill worker in a mining site. Though receiving nice wages on weekly bases and monthly allowances, he is diagnosed with a respiratory and skin disease due to his exposure to stress and harmful substances on site. As a result, he spends much on medical bills and good diet in other to augument his health loss. For this hardworking man, it may be hard to spend extra and give loan to others due to his circumstance. Where he gives loan regardless, he is selfless. It is self-love to consider himself, treat himself properly before giving loan. But it would be selfish of him to afford medical bills and other necessities with a reasonable amount left and would refuse to help others on the pretex of his health. Similarly, Mr. Rancho would be selfish if he allows his colleagues to do work in his stead and not appreciate them due to the hazardous nature of the job. He would be taking undue advantage of others.
In the event of a joint act which amount to a loss, it would be selfish for members of the group involved to pin the mistake on one single Individual. Lastly, it would be selfish not to pay staff or workers their earned salary or wages just for the supervisor or man in charge to earn extra sum.
WHEN I AM BEING SELFISH
At the point where I realize that I want to achieve happiness or any other goal at the expense or disadvantage of others, that is sufficient sign I am being selfish. The moment I realize I cannot get satisfied with what ought to satisfy an average human being, it is an indication I am being selfish. When I am gullible, careless about people's emotion or loss of resources in trying to please me, then I am being selfish. When I cannot render help to people wether financially or otherwise to maintain my peace, quiet, comfort, pride, etcetera, then these are signs of being selfish. And the direct opposite is Self-love.
LIVING SELF-LOVE WITHOUT SELFISHNESS
Self-love does not operate at the expenses or disadvantage of others. And the best way to care for yourself with out being selfish is simple. I like to suggest the word CONSIDERATE. This is a virtue we all should have. Imagine a world where humans are considerate. When we love others like ourselves, we definitely eliminate selfishness.
This is my response to weekly contest on #QCCommunity.