Kelly Schafler" />
side bar
Monday, September 25, 2023


Kelly’s Korner: finding the balance between selfish and selfless

We live in a competitive time. Being prospective college graduates, we are all looking to the future with hesitant optimism. We want to believe that we will find a job, apartment and soul mate after graduation. However, we sometimes don’t take into account that there will be obstacles in our way.

These obstacles can be financial, personal, professional or romantic. Thinking of these possible hindrances makes one wonder to what the extent someone will go to reach their dreams.

Some people will stop at nothing to reach their goals — causing them to morally compromise themselves in the process. On the other hand, there are the people who are so concerned with having someone upset with them that they compromise their own happiness to prevent this.

To compromise or not to compromise happiness — that is the ultimate question. So it comes down to who to please: yourself or others. There are multiple aspects in life that a person has to awkwardly hurdle over in order to succeed — you just have to see whether your leg will catch on the hurdle, causing you to fall flat on your face.

For example, in the professional world, one has to find out exactly what they want to sacrifice in order to prosper. To sacrifice a wayward friendship or a dead-end job must be decided. A person can compromise everything while feeling morally correct, or they can compromise very little and feel as if they still managed to do somebody wrong. The battle of the ages is finding a median. It’s about finding a balance between feeling morally stable in all aspects of life.

Romantically, there is always a major struggle to find a balance. What is right for you may not be right for the person who believes you are made of rainbows and sunshine — aka your significant other. Although some might use the “too focused on the future” as an excuse to sidestep out of a halfhearted relationship, it can sometimes be a legitimate reason.

It’s all about finding the value of a relationship — which can sometimes be difficult. The value of the relationship can sometimes be swayed by good looks or an apparently charming disposition, but that is not all that matters.

When it comes down to it, you have to find out how important a person is in the long run. Though finding the worth of a relationship may seem difficult and risky, a person must judge how important a relationship is before passing up a professional future for it.

Hypothetically, if someone were to plan a big move for a job, one might consider the likelihood of the romantic relationship lasting the distance before continuing the move. Though the prospect of finding someone who has to deal with all of your flaws may sound tempting — after all, the only other thing that shows that kind of unconditional love is a pet — being selfish over your future sounds even  more tempting.

For example, I would not give up the option to live in a city that smells like hope and urine — New York — to pursue a romantic tie that may be short-lived.

Another example would be friendship. Say that a “frenemy” is attempting to get the same job as you; you should not give up the job opportunity for the chance to maintain a temporary friendship. If someone is truly your friend, they will want what is best for you professionally.

Sure, they might gossip behind your back for a few months, but you should not feel guilty for wanting to be successful.

Though it may seem difficult, it is about finding the appropriate amount of personal happiness as to not seem boastful and pretentious around others. Stampeding over another person to get what you want is not wise; however, taking one’s own happiness into account before another’s is important.

Let’s not pull a “Lion King” moment — whispering “long live the king” as you release a loved one into a metaphorical stampede — but a slight nudge is not frowned upon.

Ultimately, a person should not be so concerned with another’s well-being that they forgo their own. While it may seem selfish, it’s not wrong to worry about oneself before others. This may seem like a contradiction to everything people are taught when they are young; however, it is the most appropriate sentiment to carry one through life.

When it comes down to it, one can only hope that one’s friends and significant other will support their professional relationships.

Most people want what’s best for the other people within their life. Whether that involves a drastic life choice or just a drastic career choice, being a supportive friend is pretty much the requirement for being a good friend. It falls right behind holding a friend’s hair back when they get sick.

Dreams are too big and too important to put on the sideline. It may sound clichéd, but there will be sacrifices made in life that show how badly you want something. There will be many college graduates who want the position just as badly as you; it’s just showing who is willing to be a little cutthroat to get it.

Be a little selfish. If you try too hard to be selfless, you will get nowhere in life.

Now that’s something that most people won’t tell you.

Senior staff columnist Kelly Schafler is a print journalism junior and may be reached at [email protected]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑
  • Sign up for our Email Edition

  • Polls

    What about UH will you miss the least this summer?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...