Are We Selfish or Unselfish?

Nobody is totally unselfish. Even our acts of unselfishness aren’t totally unselfish.

Perhaps there are rare of moments of pure unselfishness, such a soldier jumping on a grenade to save his friend. But even that might be partially motivated by self-interest. Such as not wanting to live with the pain of losing the other person or the guilt of not doing everything you could have done to save them.

We’re affected emotionally, and in some cases physically or economically, by what happens to other people. What affects others affects us. It’s difficult to detach ourselves from self-interest even when helping others.

The answer to the question of whether we’re selfish or unselfish, is yes. We’re both. But we likely have the potential to move ourselves on the spectrum toward being less selfish.