Be selfish or do what’s better for the whole?

“No man is an island.”

John Donne

I once thought I was self-sufficient…. completely independent.

The truth is, I wasn’t. NOBODY IS.


Consider the essentials …

The food on your plate

How many other people do you think were involved in getting it there?

The farmer, butcher, lorry driver, shop assistant… and on and on.

The roof over your head

Think of the amount of people that it requires to build a house?

The miners that mine for copper used in electrical cables, lumberjack for the wood that keeps the roof up, builders that put it together, engineers and architects, estate agents….the list goes on.

The clothes on your back

Although likely produced many miles away, it’s still humans like you and I, with families and friends, that put it together. You’ve got the cotton farmers, lorry drivers, factory workers, sales assistants, warehouse workers …. and on and on.

We may think we are an island at times, but we’re not.

It’s easy to be selfish

It’s easy to be selfish and look out for number one, but if we all did this, how effectively would society function? My intuition tells me things would be better if we considered what’s best for the whole, even if that’s not best for us. Because, ultimately, what’s better for the whole, is better for us.

There are nuances

It might be better for your employer if you stay in your job. After all, you’re a reliable high-performer and it would be difficult for them to replace you. The problem is, you can’t stand your job! In this case, clearly it’s not better for you to remain with your current employer.

One would even argue that it’s better for the whole if we leave our employer in the above example. Why? Because when we love what we do, we do our best work. Consequently, the whole is treated to a great product or service that’s been created with care and love.

Again, if it’s better for the whole that you host a house party, but you want an early night, it’s okay to look out for number one. There are nuances, and it’s not always black and white.

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Hiking Beinn Bhreac & Beinn a’ Chaorainn with an overnight stay in Bob Scott’s bothy

Hiking adventure overview Location – Cairngorms National Park, Scotland Day 1 – Ascend Beinn Bhreac & Beinn a’ Chaorainn before sleeping in Bob Scott’s bothy Beinn Bhreac meaning – Speckled mountain Beinn Bhreac height = 912m (2992ft) Beinn a’ Chaorainn meaning – Mountain of the Rowan Beinn a Chaorainn height = 1052m (3451ft) Day 1

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