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[KL: Consideration]: Egocentrism and Honesty

07 Jan

The King’s Law on Consideration

I – To consider or not to consider, that is the “?”
II – Let’s be honest about honesty…
III – Honesty’s Gray Area
IV – Egocentrism and Honesty

I’ve decided to conclude my “consideration/honesty” series by discussing the assertions that we make concerning the two subjects.

In the framework of this discussion (based on the way I’ve defined the terms), it is easy to conclude that hypothetically everybody is “dishonest” at some point or another. If you’re a pessimist/realist like me, or you are a fan of the TV Show “House”, then you might even go as far as to say Everybody Lies.

Seeing that Liars lack full consideration for others, we see that they are selfish individuals. This assertion is only half-way true, for while liars are not fully considering others, they may be lying to protect someone or maybe their feelings. To analyze this further, it is important to define what it means to be selfish.

self⋅ish – adjective

1. devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.

A selfish individual cares ONLY for themselves. The only reason a selfish liar has to consider others is to increase their own individual gain. An example would be the person who falsely declares love for another, making that person feel better, only to use it to their advantage later. Selfish lies are the most common type of lie and thus the most intolerable. Nobody likes to be taken advantage of, especially if it’s against their knowledge or will.

This is evidence to the fact that liars are selfish. However, as a caveat, I believe that there is a better term to describe the “less harmful” liars…

e⋅go⋅cen⋅tric – adjective

1. having or regarding the self or the individual as the center of all things: an egocentric philosophy that ignores social causes

Now let me clarify… being egocentric is NOT the same as being selfish, but the two are not mutually exclusive.

To be egocentric means to start your logical deductions with an evaluation of how it affects yourself. This human characteristic is the reason why mankind believed the universe rotated around Earth, the reason why the Crusades and other religious wars happen, and the reason why America has blindly allowed our nation to continue fighting unjustified wars.

Egocentrism is a result of self-preservation. We believe things will have an effect on us (or things important to us, i.e. religion, relationships, security), to the point that we may even lie to justify what we’ll do to preserve ourselves or those things. However, egocentrism is not the same as being selfish because it still allows for the consideration of others.

We do everything because we are egocentric. You wake up, brush your teeth, go to class/work, interact with others, eat, sleep, and think the way you do because of the way these actions affects you. Egocentrism is an evolutionary trait of Darwin’s “Survival of the Fittest”… we think about how our actions will best suit us and those that we have influence on.

Because of this, we always have intentions before an action, and sometimes those intentions are hidden (via omission)… because if everybody knew why you do what you did, then they’d do it too and it would be less beneficial to you… this is where egocentrism and selfishness meet; there is obviously a thin line between the two.

What this means for King… I’ve been reflecting about whom I am and the events that have made me who I am today. It’s funny how your life is always defined by other people rather than what you’ve done for yourself… regardless of how egocentric you are.

I’ve grown to be the pessimistic yet enlightened, distrusting yet trustworthy, and proud yet humble individual I am because others have molded me. I have watched the world turn and I realize that “Life” is just a progression of ego’s trading benefits. In some cases they share the benefits, in other times, it is usurped.

I remember times when I was so deep in love that I would drive great distances, break my bank, and make decisions that seemed increasingly illogical. At the end of the day, I hoped it would’ve been worth it for me, until I realized that my considerations were not being reciprocated. I’ve had the truth hidden from me, disguised by nice words, and I’ve been told stories that wanted to resemble the truth, but they were lies.

I’ve been told that “maybe it will work out later” when later on I find that she really meant “maybe it’ll work out next lifetime.” I’ve been told “It’s not you, it’s me” when she meant “It’s not you, it’s me… and him.” I’ve been lead into situations thinking I would have input only to find that I’m a spectator who’s paying double the price for admission. I was naïve to believe it all along, until I tried dishonesty for myself.

Wow… did my life change… Wow… did I gain control… Wow… how I don’t regret it…

The issue now is that in my reflection, I’m remembering those sour feelings of self-loathing and pity that I had. I remember the depressions I fell into because I was in a world where I might’ve been considered popular, but wasn’t considered by those who mattered and thus I was alone. I remember the pain of being a sensitive and emotional person, and the relief that never came until I embraced my egocentrism.

I guess looking back, I still don’t’ regret any of my choices, but I do realize that I could’ve been more than egocentric… I was selfish… I could’ve been the root of those negative feelings for somebody else… and I didn’t care. It only mattered if it helped me and only me… This didn’t work for me long, because I began to isolate myself and was once again alone.

If you see me now, compared to last year, or better yet 3 years ago, I’m much more reserved. I tend to stand by myself even in the presence of multitudes. I tend to think by myself in the presence of the mob. I tend to avoid interaction at the expense of my own happiness so that I don’t do to someone else what was done to me… be inconsiderate.

In the end I guess I’m not considering myself… which is even worse because that means I’ve been dishonest with myself about what it is that I want… geez, that’s why I haven’t been happy… The lie, the omission, the euphemism… I used them all on myself.

Being honest with myself has been the most trying experience because the honesty you’ll give yourself is harsher than that you’d receive from your worst enemy. However, it has also been the most liberating experience because I’m finally able to obtain that which will make me happy.

Everybody is egocentric… this has never been the problem. It’s when we are selfish that we not only squander our resources and fortunes, but we probably fuck them up for somebody else too… real talk. I’ve come to grips with the fact that I will always look after me first… I have to… nobody else plans to. But I think I’m at a point where I can no longer tolerate selfishness. Just because you and I and others are concerned with our own well being, it doesn’t mean that others have to suffer.

KING’S LAW: Consider yourself and what makes you happy… Try not to step on others’ toes (too much)… You’ll be happier in the long run… honestly.

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5 responses to “[KL: Consideration]: Egocentrism and Honesty

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