Are we willing and ready to forgo our selfishness?

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  • Khin Maung Oo
  • Some may argue with the statement which says that men are selfish. They may claim that they do not belong to the group. However, if we observe the everyday activities of people in our surroundings, we can see that the statement is actually true. By nature, selfishness is inborn in us. In other words, we might call it an inborn gift of nature. For saying so, it may be tantamount to saying that we need not worry about this inborn gift, and that we should let it be alone. Although it is a thing concerned with every individual, we should not condone its potential bad effects. “After you” culture is something we should develop. We should act in a gracious way and let the other person go before us. In civilized societies, that culture can be found everywhere all the time. This kind of culture is very rare in our country. To coin a phrase, “After me culture” can be found in our surroundings, instead. Especially, at bus-stops and on buses, we see people dashing helter-skelter to get a seat. Most do not even bother to give their seats to monks, expectant mothers or even the aged.
    In this frenetic age, people seem to think that they have enough hours to accomplish all the things on their to-do-list. In fact, they are hiding the truth by giving the wrong pretext that they are too exhausted with their daily routines to abide by social ethics. We can see such “After me cultures” at bus stops, businesses, at the workplace and even in some schools.
    In some cases some people are deliberately destroying persons in positions of authority and power by dubious ways. In this way, rule of law is deteriorating, before we know it. Unqualified and morally corrupted persons are taking offices, misappropriating power and authority to get bribes. The worst of all, a spirit of wanting to do nothing unless they are paid money or opportunities is spreading like a very dangerous virus in our country.
    We experienced evil things throughout our lives and we expected for the best. Then, what shall we do for the betterment of our nation? Will we look at the current miserable conditions with arms akimbo or with arms crossed without doing anything? The first thing to do is to remove our old bad habits and practices. Concerning this, the State Counsellor has highlighted to us what to do and what not to do. She often stresses that we need to think about what we can give to others, without pondering what we will get back. Pondering one’s interest only is selfishness. It may take time to change the mindsets of the whole populace. At a time, when the whole nation wants “Peace,” if all our national ethnic leaders can sit at the peace negotiation tables, keeping the noteworthy words of our national leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in their minds, the Peace we greatly want will be achieved as soon as possible. Are we willing and ready to forgo our selfishness for the future of our youths?
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