After my surgery I heard from so many people that it was great what I did for my family, that it’s all for my daughters, what you don’t do for your kids, April will be thankful to me and so on. At the beginning I didn’t really pay too much of an attention but with each time I heard that again I stopped for a moment and I finally realized why it felt strange for me and this is what I’m going to talk about today.
When I decided to undergo the mastectomy in order to decrease my risk of getting breast cancer I did have my family in my mind, of course. I thought that I didn’t want April to go through what I had to go through after my mother died. I didn’t want Alicia to loose a parent again and Nathan to stay alone. Of course I thought about them, they’re a big part of my life and I can’t imagine leaving them because I know they would suffer.
But I was a bigger egoist than you think. Because I want to live to see April having friends, riding a bike, reading books by herself. I want to see Alicia becoming a teenager, falling in love for the first time and going for vacation without parents. I want to be at their weddings. I want to be with Nathan, see him growing, reaching his goals. I want to be by him when he gets old. I also want to see so many places in the world, write a book, help people. I have a few dreams to make come true and plans to go with and death would definitely interrupt me. I don’t want to die thinking that I didn’t do what I wanted to do. So my decision about mastectomy was made mainly for myself.
Each one of us should be selfish in some way. It’s very easy to notice that so many people don’t want to express their opinions because they’re afraid they’ll hurt others, they’ll say something that is “inappropriate”. People keep everything inside because they think they shouldn’t speak up about something if their opinion is different than others’. They forget about their needs and feelings only because they think they need to give something to someone. Selfishness is seen as a very negative word and a lot of people use it to insult others by saying “you’re so selfish!” However, they see it in one way only and everything has two sides to it and it’s worth remembering about your own needs too even when someone else will get hurt in some way.
Selfishness is good. It’s something that keeps us alive, it’s our weapon. We always make decisions that are selfish in some way. Even when we agree to do something that we don’t really want to do. We agree because if we don’t, we’d have a problem and we want to avoid problems. So we do it because it’s better for us and it’s good because then we’re safe. If a thief wants to take our handbag we’ll give it to him because we prefer to go away without our bag than with a knife in our stomach. If a boy wants to take a toy from a girl playing with it and she doesn’t want to give it to him, it doesn’t mean it’s bad and she needs to hear “don’t be selfish, share!” It means not more than just the fact that the girl is interested in that toy at the moment and so she doesn’t want to give it away. Even if I don’t like something like this it doesn’t give me any permission to call anyone selfish sending a hidden message that they shouldn’t do it at the same time. We always have a good reason for everything we do. But also, “good” is different for different people. What’s good for me doesn’t have to be good for you so it’s often a good idea to go into someone else’s position.
Remember about yourself :)!
I’ll see you next time,