quotations about selfishness
We are not slow at discovering the selfishness of others; for this plain reason--because it clashes with our own.
FULKE GREVILLE, Maxims, Characters and Reflections
I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.
FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY, Notes from the Underground
The howl of self-interest is loud ... but the heart is black which throbs solely to its note.
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, letter to Elizabeth Hitchener, June 11, 1811
In proportion as a man is selfish, so far has he receded from the motive which constitutes virtue.
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, letter to Thomas Jefferson Hogg, May 13, 1811
Selfishness must always be forgiven you know, because there is no hope of a cure.
JANE AUSTEN, Mansfield Park
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
Only those who quit selfishly seeking their own happiness find it.
RICHELLE E. GOODRICH, Smile Anyway
How much that the world calls selfishness is only generosity with narrow walls.
THOMAS WENTWORTH HIGGINSON, Outdoor Studies
What need we any spur but our own cause,
To prick us to redress?
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Julius Caesar
The very heart and root of sin is in an independent spirit. We erect the idol self; and not only wish others to worship, but worship ourselves.
RICHARD CECIL, attributed, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers
Better not to plant seeds of selfishness than try to eradicate them once they have grown into giant weeds.
PREM PRAKASH, The Yoga of Spiritual Devotion: A Modern Translation of the Narada Bhakti Sutras
The Bible says somewhere that we are desperately selfish. I think we would have discovered that fact without the Bible.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, debate with Stephen Douglas, October 15, 1858
Selfish one why keep your love to yourself
Oh oh yeah
It's like a souvenir that just sits on a shelf
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
It seems like you built a fence
Around your heart
And afraid that sharing
Might tear it apart
JACKIE ROSS, "Selfish One"
Individualism, in its good aspects, can foster a spirit of initiative, creativity, and going beyond norms and old-fashioned and restrictive dogmas, but it can also very quickly degenerate into irresponsible selfishness and rampant narcissism, to the detriment of the well-being of all. Selfishness is at the heart of most of the problems we face today: the growing gap between rich and poor, the attitude of "everybody for himself," which is only increasing, and indifference about the generations to come.
MATTHIEU RICARD, "Climate Challenges and the Audacity of Altruism", Huffington Post, May 4, 2017
Will not a tiny speck very close to our vision blot out the glory of the world, and leave only a margin by which we see the blot? I know no speck so troublesome as self.
GEORGE ELIOT, Middlemarch
Some men think that the globe is a sponge that God puts into their hands to squeeze for their own garden or flower-pot.
HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit
Selfishness is a swamp that sucks in all and gives out nothing.
JOHN THORNTON, Maxims and Directions for Youth
Let not a man's self be to him all in all.
BENJAMIN WHICHCOTE, Moral and Religious Aphorisms
Selfishness is that detestable vice which no one will forgive in others, and no one is without in himself.
HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts
Twin-sister of Religion, Selfishness!
Rival in crime and falsehood, aping all
The wanton horrors of her bloody play;
Yet frozen, unimpassioned, spiritless,
Shunning the light, and owning not its name,
Compelled by its deformity to screen
With flimsy veil of justice and of right
Its unattractive lineaments that scare
All save the brood of ignorance; at once
The cause and the effect of tyranny;
Unblushing, hardened, sensual and vile;
Dead to all love but of its abjectness;
With heart impassive by more noble powers
Than unshared pleasure, sordid gain, or fame;
Despising its own miserable being,
Which still it longs, yet fears, to disenthrall.
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, Queen Mab