Live for Yourself

Rodin's "The Thinker"

Throughout our lives, we are told many things about how to live our lives. “You should live for your country!” say some. Others say, “Your goal in live is to serve the ‘common good’!” And the examples merely continue from there.

But these things fly in the face of all rationality. They man that his life is not really his own, but instead he is born indebted to some other entity. The individuals supporting such doctrines treat man’s life as a blank check for anyone and everyone else to fill except himself.

This is not how man should live. Man should live for himself.<--break->

Does this mean that by living for oneself that compassion or good will towards others is prohibited? By no means! In fact, it is only by living for oneself that there can be any true compassion at all.

Such was what I discovered when of friend of mine actually expressed annoyance with how willing people were to donate their time and money to Relay for Life at UGA (the program of choice for our own “Choosing Charity” event at the UGA chapter of YAL) rather than by giving it to some other welfare program.

The reason given was that they weren’t giving selflessly and were instead giving because of the value they saw in doing so. Because my teammate already implicitly accepts the premise that the Relayers have no entitlement to their own time or money, she herself feels entitled to it, or at least entitled to allocate it someone she thinks is more deserving — this is the root of socialism.

Click here for the rest of the essay.

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