This is no 9 in our series on SELF. Last time we tried to define selfishness. Today we’ll look at what some people say is selfishness is actually good for a family.
Faye Weldon, a British author wrote:
“Young women, especially have something invested in being nice people,and it’s only when you have children that you realize you’re not a nice person at all, but generally a selfish bully.”
I’m sure many women might agree with that (many men too!) but more would not!
(Somewhat off the point, but for your amusement, I have to report that Ms. Weldon, when a copywriter, once wrote, “Vodka gets you drunker quicker.”
She said in a Guardian interview,
“It just seemed … to be obvious that people who wanted to get drunk fast, needed to know this.”
Which I thought was pretty funny.
Her bosses didn’t use the comment.
Her husband, Ron Weldon, left her for his astrological therapist who had told him that the couple’s astrological signs were incompatible.
Apparently, they were both a little off the wall.)
In any case, she is supported in this, by many.
The French actress, Emmanuelle Beart, echoing a lot of women, said:
“I just decided that I would not put my professional life on hold to raise children. I know that sounds selfish to a lot of people and I don’t know if what I’m doing is the right thing. But that’s the way I’m doing it.”
Indicating a real problem many people have in the tug-of-war between themselves and their children.
This is true of artists–who predictably–are more forthcoming about solutions for the problem.
Mikhail Baryshnikov said:
“People of art should never get married and have children, because it’s a selfish experience.”
But Greg LeMond, a race track driver, also said,
“Racing is a very selfish, self-centred, self-glorifying thing. My wife’s life for 14 years was centered around me. It was all about me. It was all for my ego.”
Parents often have this problem.
I think, on some level, all parents do.
How they deal with it varies, of course, but all must wrestle with the implications, for their lives, and for their children’s lives.
On the biggest level,it has enormous impact on families: whether they break up, stay together “for the sake of the children,” or work it out in compromise and love and stay together knowing that some of what they wanted in life will never be achieved.
Other things,however, might satisfactorily replace them.
Think of all the well-educated immigrants who move to countries so their children can have a better life. They work menial jobs to give their kids a chance.
In some cases, what people thought they wanted, isn’t what they wanted at all.
But it keeps people up in the middle of the night.
Nobody said it was easy.
Next time we’ll look at selfishness as it applies to love.
I’m with you in this. If you are not a member, join us . Just put your John or Joanna Henry in the box and I’ll start sending you good things.
SELF SERIES 1: WHATEVER YOU DO TONIGHT, PLEASE DON’T BE YOURSELF!
SELF SERIES 7: “SELFISH” VS “SELFLESS”