Thursday, June 5, 2008

Human Failing

The following is an old 'article' entitled 'Human Failing' that was supposed to go in to a certain magazine that failed to see it's second issue.

Anyway here it is, as it was; written in 2005. I believe people change over time and past views may also change, but I've left this as it was, and I think it's a little simplistic, but still true.


What is the biggest human failing known to man. This single characteristic is the source of most of what goes wrong in the world. This failing is the one of 'self-betterment' and self preserval, the quality of selfishness.

Selfish “concerned chiefly with one's own interests or pleasure; actuated by or appealing to self-interest.” Oxford English Dictionary

Why is this the case? Looking firstly at the causes for dishonest practice, what is the first reason anyone would ever walk down that road. The answer is simply because it is possibly easier but chiefly that it will better the position of the person who commits the dishonest action.

Lets take a few examples. Why does a man who sells weapons for a living having made a vast fortune not stop and do something more productive with his money? One reason is why should he bother? He can now live the life of luxury and by continuing his trade can easily guarantee that it can be done so in the future.

You might say “Well perhaps this man likes the power he has, and the power of fear he has over others”, but this again still relates to selfishness as it is this mans own desire to satisfy himself at the expense of others.

Sadly there are several such types of people who are involved in this type of affair such as drug dealers, people involved with other underground activities as well as politicians to name a few. What happens as a result is that these people in order to consolidate what they have, ally with others so that they may keep the status quo in their favour.

While it may be possible that not all politicians for example are involved in such dealings there are obviously enough to keep it so.

Yet on the other end of the spectrum are those individuals who do offer a hand up when another is down. What causes them to help another without any benefit to them. This would be the exact opposite quality of selfishness, the one of selflessness.

So while both these two kinds of people exist you may wonder why then is there so much trouble in the world. The reason for this is simply that selfless people do not really seek to benefit themselves as this would be a selfish act in itself. To accumulate so much power would require the underhand tactics used by those previously described.

What happens is that when a person tries to do the right thing, they will eventually come in to conflict with those that do not and these people tend to use violence, often killing people. As a result those who try to do the right thing generally end up dead.

Ultimately it will always be true that it is easier to destroy than to create, to fight than make peace and to be selfish than selfless. This is one of those issues that has no easy solution. Perhaps we can't deal directly with such selfish people but perhaps we can all try to be a little less selfish ourselves.

The Hound


  1. hey fox!

    nice post dude.. but just wanted to point out that there were instances when selfless persons were able to become influential i.e. Mother Theresa, Che Guevara etc.

    Bt yes i agree with you that such individuals are an exception rather than the norm..

  2. ahhhh...ok.ok..dude nice post. Hope to see more..

  3. interesting post-VERY true..
    its really too bad that banishing selfishness from the world is a lot harder than finding life on another planet!!!