Published in: The Pioneer
    Category: Hacked BY
    Dated: 10/25/2004
Everyone should know the difference between the words “selfish” and “self-interest”. Whereas “selfish” means thinking first of one's own interest, needs, etc., without concern for others. “Self-interest” is concern for one's own interest. One must have one's own interest always in mind, otherwise who else would do so ? As human beings, we are supposed to constantly elevate ourselves. For this, we need help from others, and this can be obtained only by being helpful to others, and not by being unconcerned about their welfare.

What is our self-interest ? As human beings, we are very special since we possess higher intelligence compared to other species. Our consciousness is also much more developed, or can be developed by proper means. Therefore, all of us must endeavour to make a success of our human birth.

What is this success ? One must be able to see where one is headed to, that is, we must have well-defined goals, both long-term and short-term. And, there must be regular checks to ascertain whether we are making progress or not. A human being with all the earthly resources at his disposal should get better as one gets older. Unfortunately, many of us are worse off today, compared to what we were as children. This is no great credit to our intelligence. Our quality of life should be first class if we are as smart as we think we are. We should know what we like best and try to obtain it by sustained efforts. Everyone is different and what is satisfying and fulfilling is very individual : one should seek to identify it and attempt to obtain the same.

Everyone should be happy, otherwise life has no meaning : one wishes to live to be happy only, and being peaceful is the basis for being happy. Lord Krishna states in the Bhagavad-Geeta : "How can there be any happiness without peace ?" (2.66). Since all the answers are available in the bonafide scriptures, we should inquire about God, who has provided us with all the wonderful information. And, as a wise man puts away something for a rainy day, we should create some assets for our next life. Even if one is unable to foresee an after life due to incomplete spiritual knowledge, it does not hurt to buy an insurance by following what the scriptures say.

What must we prevent ? Our lives should not be in a mess with frequent depression, constant worries, nagging fears, etc. We should not allow our various senses to hurt us. The eyes should not be allowed to see what is disturbing : the mouth should not be allowed to hold sway over our concern for health ; the tongue should be held in check such that it speaks what is beneficial to us and so on. In short, our senses, which belong to us, should not become instruments for hurting us. We should also not hanker after something which is not achievable or hurts us really in obtaining our goals or later in life. Lastly, we should not be envious of others because we are always in need of help from others. Being envious or inimical of others is a habit and often hurts us ; we should have many friends and make no enemies on account of our behaviour.

In the end, one should make full use of all the resources one has, especially money, since money properly used is beneficial. For example, we are tempted to leave a lot of money for our children, but a big percentage among us is guilty of not doing our best for their upbringing. There are two problems in this. First, not many people know what needs to be done in absence of spiritual knowledge and second, we neglect this responsibility in the name of many problems that we always have. Even for ourselves, we should constantly attempt to improve our lot by learning many things. Unfortunately, many of us are guilty of giving up all too easily as we get older. As a matter of fact, one is able to learn better with the help of all the past knowledge and experience that one gathers.

If heeded, all these shall protect our self-interest and one can enjoy one's life fully, being healthy in ways more than one.
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