Some things I have learned #22

Subtitle: Or, at the least, I think I believe

Sub-subtitle: Or, at the most, I believe I know


The word selfish, generally, refers to an overweening focus on one’s self (oft exhibited in an obtrusive use of the first-person singular pronoun in speaking and writing). Substitutable synonyms: self-absorbed, self-centered, self-concerned, self-infatuated, self-involved, self-obsessed, self-seeking, and self-serving.

Selfish bears a negative connotation. Almost always.

Almost. For there is at least one sense in which selfish can suggest something good, even grand, which I illustrate by presenting the word “self” with the hyphenated suffix “-ish” (meaning having the character, nature, or quality of). Thus, self-ish.

For, as I reflect on my life, along the way, I have had, now, innumerable mountaintop experiences or watershed moments when I discovered something new about myself. Indeed, something new about my self. In each and every case, I gained a deeper awareness of who I am and what I am to do in this world.

Therefore, it occurs to me, that each of these, what I term, “encounters with clarity” was…is, fundamentally, self-ish.

© 2021 PRA

2 thoughts on “Some things I have learned #22

  1. One of the reasons I really appreciated this post Paul is because it gave me perspective. I encourage caregivers to care for themselves so they can better care for others. I’m hopeful that this is a good enough reason to be selfish… and so they can be better caregivers.


    1. Loretta, there always is an element of self-care, I think, in every act of giving or serving others. If and when we are depleted of energy and focus, then our offerings to others, at best, are meager. Self-care, then, in this sense, fulfills my definition of being “self-ish.”

      Thank you for your on-point observation!


      Liked by 1 person

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