Joey says there is no unSelfish act, and Phoebe goes all out to prove him wrong...well is there an unselfish act?
This has been a question in my head for a long long time, and over the ears i have come to believe, both because of experience and logical reasoning (and some spiritual discourses) that there are no unselfish acts in the world. Logical reasoning comes out of Darwin's theories, and from AOL discourses, both say that every has to be selfish to sustain the world. Darwin says u need to be selfish just to survive, AOL says, be selfish to be happy, because if ur happy, then only can you make others happier.
Same goes for Osho, who says be selfish and responsible at the same time, just that he uses freedom as another word for selfishness. Logically also, everyone has to be selfish, then only can you there be a balance int he world. if you are not selfish and everyone else is, then who takes care of you. if no one is selfish, the world comes to a standstill!!!
But there has always been an exception in my head, which i though was one example of an unselfish act. and yesterday i realized, not really.
So i drive an Activa, and at nights when i park, don't switch off the Headlights, in the morning when i start again on the roads, invariably the headlights are on. And almost always, before i reach work (which is like 10 mins drive) someone or the other would point out. Always...and i always wondered why? is this the only unselfish act. It doesn't do them any good.
and then yesterday, i realised. Again on my activa (most of these thoughts come either when i am driving, guess because always drive in a trance like state), and this time the Side stand spring had come off, so the side stand was just hanging. and atleast 10 people pointed it out, they would speed up from behind and tell me, even people who i though would have found it very difficult to spot becuase of the angles, would crane their necks, reconfirm and then shout at me. some with a little bit of scorn. and i realised...
these are not really unselfish acts, they are very much selfish. they are because these small things, which are out of place, out of the normal, bother you. bother your eyes. and they keep on bothering you. They also give you that small, very small, sense of doing some good in the world, you kind of feel good. and so, everytime you or i see someone whose indicator is on, or who's headlights are on, or a lady who's chunni is stuck in the car door...we point out.
so with that view...here is the question.
Knowing that everyone is selfish, how do you get people to do what is good for everyone as a whole, but not the individual, at least directly. and example being water harvesting...if everyone does it, the water table comes up, and everyone benefits, but no one wants to do it simply because they don't see the returns for them immediately. Also they want to know that everyone is doing it, that where comes the 'why should i do it alone' kinda questions.
Am still struggling with this question. How to show immediate returns to the individuals, in cases where the overall good will come to the community only after some time.
A simple answer is that some central agency (like the government) puts in the investments, and have the community individuals contribute indirectly (taxation), but then i have started believing that we should get to a stage where no government is required. (thats the Osho view btw)...and in which case, this entire concept breaks down. With all the wisdom that Mr Rajneesh provides, this problem is still not solved.
so any answers??
PS: btw its not that the above is totally absent. but in community form haven't seen it. an example is of those bumper thingies people put behind rear wheels of any vehicles, which stop the mud from flying. It gives absolutely no advantage to the you, but you still put it for the benefit of others. Is it because of a fear of being shouted at by others, or is it just because its a norm. I am sure its not because you care about others.
and the title has 'again' because i have already written a post titled Selfish before.