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A little selfishness doesn’t hurt

By Judith Mwobobia | April 22nd 2020

I know of a man who paid for his siblings’ higher education and even catered for some of his cousins and their children’s school fees.

At the time, he was at the helm of his career, a chief auditor in a leading financial institution.

Today, he is 70; plagued with loans all accrued from trying to establish businesses to keep him and his wife afloat through their sunset years.

Last I heard, he had blood pressure issues brought on by stress thanks to worrying about his finances.

One would ask, where are all the people he built up back in the day?

Well, they are flourishing. And the old man is now a bother to them. His constant pleas for a handout are a nuisance they would rather not deal with.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be generous. No, by all means, do it. But set boundaries, because, like the man in the story learnt too late, you can’t put expectations on people for your well-being; not even those you bent over backwards for. 

While selfishness is frowned upon, there is a selfishness that is akin to self-love. Don’t give and give and leave yourself bottomed out.

Sometimes saying no can be the best thing you do for yourself.

If giving leaves you angry, frustrated or at your wits’ end, then that isn’t the giving you need to be doing.

At the end of the day, you owe yourself as much generosity as you give to others.  

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