Devil’s Advocate, A Concept Misconstructed

Posted on March 23, 2010 in Specials

Ravi Radhanpura:

I am everything, Everything that there is, starts from ME.

Once reading the above lines, the reader would definitely rate me as a narcissist, an egotist and a self centred person.

Well, I agree, it is true that I am selfish and an egotist. But the fact is, everyone today is. And let me tell you what ‘I’ means.

When Nehru declared India needs to be self sufficient, he meant, I as an Indian need to be self made. Today Microsoft, Reliance are what they are, because they were selfish for progress before doing the good work they do for the society. Grameen bank today is successful only because the people targeted, although are poor but have a lot of self reliance and pride. Theological reasoning and Philosophical understanding tells us that it’s not being selfish when one thinks of self development before service of brothers and community.

Ayn Rand once wrote, “We must learn to reject as total evil the conception that the common good is served by the abolition of individual rights. General happiness cannot be created out of general suffering and self-immolation. The only happy society is one of happy individuals. One cannot have a healthy forest made up of rotten trees.” Thus, it is a fact in today’s world that it is the individual progress that triggers community development. India is a living example of it. It is based on the drive given to it by its entrepreneurs, its people with selfish yet cunning business acumen and its spirit of competition.

But the liberty of thought comes along with a duty of action. We are what we are because someone gave us the environment to do so, love and resources to progress. So, according to simple economics, as much as we take, there is to be no doubt that we must remit.

I saw a beggar once on the street. Moved by the condition of the poor thing, I decided to give away whatever money I had. My mother seeing this, told me, “If you want to help people, help yourselves first. There is no use pitying souls in nature. It is rather a better thing to be in a state where if you want, you can change it.”

So, I don’t agree with what the so called spiritual gurus say today of selflessness and social work. I want to change the world and turn into a better place, but I want to help myself first.

If I want to grow, I need to aspire

If I want to live, I have to compete

If I want to help, I need to be capable

If that is being selfish…

Then I am, Then the whole world is.