Selfishness is seen as someone who is self absorbed, negligent on the needs of others, and only cares for oneself. Selflessness, on the other hand, is otherwise. I understood the reason why people are selfless because acts of kindness towards other people feel good. Selfless people tend to do it because of the rewards they reap after feeding the hungry, donating money, etc. They feel good about themselves. Isn’t that a selfish trait? The person did the good deed because he/she cared for himself ultimately. To get the feel good feeling he/she has to do something for others. The act selfishness came in the form of reaching out to others.
The movie, somewhat, shed some light regarding the dichotomy. William Wilberforce, a white and rich merchant, sacrificed his health to focus all his energy to his cause. What benefit can he reap from the abolition of the slave trade? He can get the good feeling of selflessness in other forms. He could have stayed in his manor and continue living as an elite. Instead, he took the cause and fought it with his life. He faced too many hurdles, yet his spirit and passion were as fiery from day one. It took him more than a decade to forward this cause. Many were lost but too much were to be gained. This act freed thousands of Africans and freed the future generations from the pit of slavery.
At the end of the day, William felt good when the bill of abolition of slavery was passed. In exchange of this good feeling came a price of his deteriorating health. Maybe this will be my new definition of selflessness. You are selfless if you something good in return you give up something of value. Maybe…
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