Every man is basically selfish though all may not appear to be so. Some people are outwardly selfish and we all call them so but the truth is that all of us tend to be selfish when it comes to choosing between you and another person. Suppose you and your best friend are the best students in your class. You may not express it but you would be having that urge to beat your friend and come first in the class. People may call it competition or whatever; I feel that it is just another facet of selfishness. You may not feel bad if your friend comes first but I think that the single moment when you think that you must come ahead of your friend is surely a type of selfishness.
We say that some people sacrifice so much for the happiness of others. Yes, they do. But, I am sure that they don’t do it happily; at least not 100% happily. And, unless they are able to do it happily, how can you find that element of selflessness? I am not ruling out exceptions. Take the case of a brother bringing home a chocolate he got at school for his younger sister. The brother may be doing it out of love and may cherish the moment when he sees the smile on his sister’s face when the chocolate is handed over. But he surely might be entertaining a feeling that he could have had the chocolate if his sister was not there. This feeling may not be long lasting but I am again talking about that single moment.
As any other characteristic, selfishness too is inherently present in every human being. It is active in some and passive in others. There are selfish moments in each of our lives; moments when we think only about our self, our happiness, our satisfaction, our comfort and our benefits. It is there. No one can deny it. At some point of time in our life, we do become selfish and work towards selfish motives.
You smoke a cigarette because you want to satisfy your selfish interest and your wife would ask you to stop smoking to ensure that you don’t fall ill which is again a selfish motive as far as she is concerned. In between the common grounds is the grey area of selfishness and we move ahead together, compromising with each other, to satisfy our own selfish goals. After all we are social beings!