Archives for category: Objectivism

David Kelley wrote a great piece for the Atlas Society entitled Life: Your Adventure in Entrepreneurship. It deals mainly with how we all have the responsibility of an entrepreneurial life. Not meaning that we all need to own our own businesses, but own our own lives. (The article has been taken down since.)

He makes great points about the necessity to take responsibility for everything in our lives- our values and decisions. This means reasoning with every aspect of our lives instead of accepting the status quo. We are not being responsible- and cannot be truly happy- unless we know why we do what we do.

My favorite pieces:

-(Opening Paragraph) The entrepreneurial spirit is the spirit of enterprise: ambition to succeed, initiative in taking action, alertness to opportunity. It means being proactive rather than reacting to events and opportunities as they come along. It involves a full acceptance of the responsibility for initiating action to achieve one’s goals, and for dealing with the consequences that arise as one does so. [Accepting responsibility for everything you do is, to me, key. This is what allows you to really consider yourself and your life as an achievement] Read the rest of this entry »

This doesn't look civilized

I had a great talk with a good friend this morning about the idea of sacrifice being a positive or negative.  Sacrifice is usually considered the greatest good one can do.  Selfishness usually defines the worst people on the planet.  I think the reason for this is because we generally use loose definitions for them.  Definitions that really don’t make any sense.

Objectivism offers more accurate, effective definitions.  My friend helped me realize the simplest way to differentiate is to recognize whether love is involved or not.  “Sacrifice” out of love is rational selfishness (which I’ll just call selfishness).  “Sacrifice” without love is sacrificial.

I heard Oprah has been talking about how she “sacrificed” having a family so she could work 24/7 on her show.  Assuming she loves her show, Oprah was not sacrificial in her actions, she was selfish.

When I give up a night working on a project to go see my sister play in a volleyball game I’m being selfish.

When I give up a night partying to study, I’m not sacrificing, I’m being selfish.

When someone makes me feel guilty for some group of starving people and I give them money to rid the guilt, that’s sacrificial.

When I take time out of my day to help someone I don’t like, that’s sacrificial.

So selfishness is not hoarding all good for yourself unless you don’t love anyone.  Selfishness is acting in your highest good; in Atlas Shrugged that meant John Galt giving his life for Dagny Taggart.

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