Quotes About Selfishness

Quotes tagged as "selfishness" (showing 1-30 of 513)
Oscar Wilde
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”
Oscar Wilde

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground

Albert Camus
“To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.”
Albert Camus

Richard Bach
“Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness.
Listen to it carefully.”
Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

David Mitchell
“People pontificate, "Suicide is selfishness." Career churchmen like Pater go a step further and call in a cowardly assault on the living. Oafs argue this specious line for varying reason: to evade fingers of blame, to impress one's audience with one's mental fiber, to vent anger, or just because one lacks the necessary suffering to sympathize. Cowardice is nothing to do with it - suicide takes considerable courage. Japanese have the right idea. No, what's selfish is to demand another to endure an intolerable existence, just to spare families, friends, and enemies a bit of soul-searching.”
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“The world says: "You have needs -- satisfy them. You have as much right as the rich and the mighty. Don't hesitate to satisfy your needs; indeed, expand your needs and demand more." This is the worldly doctrine of today. And they believe that this is freedom. The result for the rich is isolation and suicide, for the poor, envy and murder.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Lao Tzu
“Manifest plainness,
Embrace simplicity,
Reduce selfishness,
Have few desires.”
Lao Tzu

Daniel Goleman
“Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection - or compassionate action.”
Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships

Gretchen Rubin
“The belief that unhappiness is selfless and happiness is selfish is misguided. It's more selfless to act happy. It takes energy, generosity, and discipline to be unfailingly lighthearted, yet everyone takes the happy person for granted. No one is careful of his feelings or tries to keep his spirits high. He seems self-sufficient; he becomes a cushion for others. And because happiness seems unforced, that person usually gets no credit.”
Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun

Christopher Hitchens
“We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid.”
Christopher Hitchens

Criss Jami
“Man is not, by nature, deserving of all that he wants. When we think that we are automatically entitled to something, that is when we start walking all over others to get it.”
Criss Jami, Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality

أبو حامد الغزالي
“Declare your jihad on thirteen enemies you cannot see -egoism, arrogance, conceit, selfishness, greed, lust, intolerance, anger, lying, cheating, gossiping and slandering. If you can master and destroy them, then you will be read to fight the enemy you can see.”
أبو حامد الغزالي

“Almost every sinful action ever committed can be traced back to a selfish motive. It is a trait we hate in other people but justify in ourselves. ”
Stephen Kendrick, The Love Dare

Ouida
“Intensely selfish people are always very decided as to what they wish. They do not waste their energies in considering the good of others.”
Ouida, Wanda, Countess von Szalras.

P.G. Wodehouse
“If there is one thing I dislike, it is the man who tries to air his grievances when I wish to air mine.”
P.G. Wodehouse, Love Among the Chickens

George Eliot
“Selfish— a judgment readily passed by those who have never tested their own power of sacrifice.”
George Eliot

David Mitchell
“In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction.”
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

Alexandre Dumas
“Love is the most selfish of all the passions.”
Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers

Erich Fromm
“The main condition for the achievement of love is the overcoming of one's narcissism. The narcissistic orientation is one in which one experiences as real only that which exists within oneself, while the phenomena in the outside world have no reality in themselves, but are experienced only from the viewpoint of their being useful or dangerous to one. The opposite pole to narcissism is objectivity; it is the faculty to see other people and things as they are, objectively, and to be able to separate this objective picture from a picture which is formed by one's desires and fears.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

J. Sheridan Le Fanu
“You will think me cruel, very selfish, but love is always selfish; the more ardent the more selfish. How jealous I am you cannot know. You must come with me, loving me, to death; or else hate me, and still come with me, and hating me through death and after. There is no such word as indifference in my apathetic nature.”
J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla

Lydia Davis
“There seemed to be three choices: to give up trying to love anyone, to stop being selfish, or to learn to love a person while continuing to be selfish.”
Lydia Davis

George Sand
“Nothing resembles selfishness more closely than self-respect”
George Sand, Indiana

Christopher Hitchens
“I have always found it quaint and rather touching that there is a movement [Libertarians] in the US that thinks Americans are not yet selfish enough.”
Christopher Hitchens

Tony Kushner
“You have a good heart and you think the good thing is to be guilty and kind but it's not always kind to be gentle and soft, there's a genuine violence softness and kindness visit on people. Sometimes self-interested is the most generous thing you can be. ”
Tony Kushner, Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika

Criss Jami
“When you have wit of your own, it's a pleasure to credit other people for theirs.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Gene Wolfe
“People don't want other people to be people.”
Gene Wolfe, Shadow & Claw

Elizabeth Goudge
“We all of us need to be toppled off the throne of self, my dear," he said. "Perched up there the tears of others are never upon our own cheek.”
Elizabeth Goudge, The White Witch

Erich Fromm
“The faculty to think objectively is reason; the emotional attitude behind reason is that of humility. To be objective, to use one's reason, is possible only if one has achieved an attitude of humility, if one has emerged from the dreams of omniscience and omnipotence which one has as a child. Love, being dependent on the relative absence of narcissism, requires the developement of humility, objectivity and reason.

I must try to see the difference between my picture of a person and his behavior, as it is narcissistically distorted, and the person's reality as it exists regardless of my interests, needs and fears.”
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

Mike  Norton
“One of the greatest evils is the foolishness of a good man. For the giving man to withhold helping someone in order to first assure personal fortification is not selfish, but to elude needless self-destruction; martyrdom is only practical when the thought is to die, else a good man faces the consequence of digging a hole from which he cannot escape, and truly helps no one in the long run.”
Mike Norton, Just Another War Story

William Nicholson
“God creates us free, free to be selfish, but He adds a mechanism that will penetrate our selfishness and wake us up to the presence of others in this world, and that mechanism is called suffering.”
William Nicholson, Shadowlands

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