Quotations: Selfishness


If at the end of the week's work, and on receiving his wages, he were to ask his employer for a larger sum, pleading that, though he could not justly claim it and did not really deserve it, yet he expected it, he would not only receive the larger sum but would, doubtless, be discharged from his post. Yet in spiritual things men do not think it to be either foolish or selfish to ask for these blessings
James Allen


The selfishness must be discovered and understood before it can be removed. It is powerless to remove itself, neither will it pass away of itself. Darkness ceases only when light is introduced; so ignorance can only be dispersed by Knowledge; selfishness by Love.
James Allen

Self is ingenious, crooked, and, governed by subtle and snaky desire, admits of endless turnings and qualifications, and the deluded worshippers of self vainly imagine that they can gratify every worldly desire, and at the same time possess the Truth
James Allen

When men, lost in the devious ways of error and self, have forgotten the heavenly birth, ... they set up artificial standards by which to judge one another
James Allen

The one who loves the least, controls the relationship.
Dr. Robert Anthony

I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle.
Jane Austen

Selfishness is that detestable vice which no one will forgive in others, and no one is without in himself
Henry Ward Beecher

I have begun in old age to understand just how oddly we are all put together. We are so proud of our autonomy that we seldom if ever realize how generous we are to ourselves, and just how stingy with others. One of the booby traps of freedom—which is bordered on all sides by isolation—is that we think so well of ourselves. I now see that I have helped myself to the best cuts at life’s banquet.
Saul Bellow

People who worship only themselves get a slick, polished look -- like monuments. Too bad they had to go so soon.
Vanna Bonta

All sympathy not consistent with acknowledged virtue is but disguised selfishness
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Posthumous charities are the very essence of selfishness when bequeathed by those who, even alive, would part with nothing.
Charles Caleb Colton

Selfishness is the greatest curse of the human race
William E. Gladstone

Individualism is rather like innocence; there must be something unconscious about it.
Louis Kronenberger

If you're working to make the playing field fair and level, you're working for the wrong reasons. Work to take the opportunities that arise and use your individual talents to excel at those opportunities.
Rush Limbaugh

Modesty and unselfishness: These are the virtues which men praise, and pass by
Andre Maurois

Those who do not hate their own selfishness and regard themselves as more important than the rest of the world are blind because the truth lies elsewhere
Blaise Pascal

Well, I know they've always told you/ Selfishness was wrong/ Yet it was for me, not you, I came to write this song/
Neil Peart

Live for yourself -- there's no one else More worth living for Begging hands and bleeding hearts will only cry out for more
Neil Peart

There are two kinds of egotists: Those who admit it, and the rest of us.
Dr. Laurence J. Peter

Charity consists not so much on HOW MUCH WE GIVE to the person but on how much we keep for ourselves
Gregory Ramkissoon

Selfishness is the only real atheism; aspiration, unselfishness, the only real religion.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
William Shakespeare

Two may keep counsel, putting one away
William Shakespeare

Twin-sister of Religion, Selfishness
Percy Bysshe Shelley

It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes... we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions - especially selfish ones.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn

One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.
Mother Teresa

All endeavors which are directed to a purely worldly end, contain within themselves the seeds of their own corruption.
Theodore H. White

You can't get unless you give. And you have to give without wanting to get.
Theodore H. White

There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.
Oscar Wilde

All charming people, I fancy, are spoiled. It is the secret of their attraction.
Oscar Wilde

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.
Oscar Wilde

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.
Oscar Wilde

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