A Choice For Life
The decision to be selfish or unselfish is not just a choice of the moment but is a fundamental part of character, as it is one of the first, if not the first, value that is formed by the developing mind of a baby. Nature delivers the infant with an incomplete set of values along with the ability to request succour. The history of the results of infantile demands insensibly teaches the first lessons of life, which become the foundation for understanding all other experiences.
Inevitable Results Of An Undisciplined Upbringing
Adults who allow their basic desire to pamper children dominate the way they rear their offspring, such as by feeding on demand, are placing the baby in control and insensibly teaching:
— this is Selfishness: the pursuit of self-indulgence won by feigned emotional responses to others, regardless of the inevitable denial of truth; restrained only by convenience — immorality.
Inevitable Results Of A Disciplined Upbringing
Whereas if the child learns it has to adapt its wishes to meet the demands of the parents, such as four-hourly feeding, then the lessons taught are:
— all which must insensibly teach reverence for the community and its beliefs, which is Unselfishness: the pursuit of duty, showing respect, being obedient and upholding right over wrong (justice), all founded upon truth — morality.
And once these values are learnt they become the parent of all other values and so control the understanding of the future adult. The subsequent personality must be either be selfish or unselfish, depending upon this early education.
We All Like To Be Thought Unselfish
At a more mature stage in life many selfish people may wish to be thought unselfish, but this springs from self-seeking motives and is part of being self-centred; for well before the age of reason has been reached, this question has been irrevocably decided by childhood.
Decision Made By Upbringing
The decision to be moral or immoral is not a conscious decision but is resolved in early childhood before awareness has properly developed. So unless unselfishness is imbued during infancy by enforcing a code of discipline, the subsequent adult must become selfish, and thus immoral.