Self Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 4219 quotes )
Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. And unselfishness is letting other people's lives alone, not interfering with them. Selfishness always aims at creating around it an absolute uniformity of type. Unselfishness recognises infinite variety of type as a delightful thing, accepts it, acquiesces in it, enjoys it. It is not selfish to think for oneself. A man who does not think for himself does not think at all. It is grossly selfish to require of one's neighbour that he should think in the same way, and hold the same opinions. Why should he? If he can think, he will probably think differently. If he cannot think, it is monstrous to require thought of any kind from him. A red rose is not selfish because it wants to be a red rose. It would be horribly selfish if it wanted all the other flowers in the garden to be both red and roses.
Self knowledge is a virtue in its own right. We value the way in which people can fulfill their own natures by gaining an unsentimental self understanding. We think it is good to grow, for all our vices, into someone who is mature enough to face the past and the present, someone who understands how character, in its weaknesses as well as its strengths, is made of interlocking tendencies and gifts that have grown in the course of a life. The image of growth and maturing is Aristotelian rather than Kantian. These ancient values are ideals that none fully achieve, and yet they are modest, not seeking to find a meaning in life, but finding excellence in living and honoring life and its potentialities.