Believe it or not, the world does in fact revolve around you, and you are selfish.
I'm not talking about self infatuation, the notion of loving yourself and putting yourself before others as such. I'm talking in a more latent, subconscious, and logical sense.
We once as a species believed that the Earth was the centre of the universe, that changed to the Sun, and some people might still argue that point. Scientifically, the closest we can get to understanding, is the centre of our own galaxy, The Milky Way...At which lies a black hole, slowly drawing everything in and destroying it. Just like an Egomaniac!
Realistically, all that matters on a personal level, is ourselves. We influence, and are influenced by, everything that surrounds us. Our perceptions of reality and how we run our lives inevitably place ourselves at the centre of our universe.
We condescend those that exude narcissism, and deem it to be an unattractive quality. But why? Consider that these people who behave in such a way actually have accepted this trait to be one of human nature, and by embracing it has enabled them to relish in a higher level of confidence - Misplaced, or not.
I posit this theory: We are all selfish & We all seek personal gain.
Not many people throughout their lifetimes bother to query the point of existence, or if they have any real purpose. But subconsciously we are all looking for meaning and a reason for being. Many of us accept that this meaning or purpose can be restricted to our immediate lifetime.
One of the reasons the notion of an afterlife exists is to give credence to the actions we commit, to help them fit into the box of 'good' or 'bad', and selflessness fits under the 'good' category by default, because it is considered morally decent to act outside of yourself.
However, selfless acts have impact, in theory the influence of good deeds will resonate and encourage another good deed in its place. It's own little self contained butterfly effect. It's like when you're driving and someone gives way to you when they don't really have to...That in turn later on the journey encourages you to do the same to another driver, and there are times where you might witness this happen as a sort of chain on your journey into work, and it's somewhat magical, but how does it make you feel? Good, right?
To that driver that let you go, they've witnessed these actions, and have seen their influence unfold. Validating that their action was worthwhile, and giving a sense of gratitude in doing something that prioritised someone other than themselves. But was the priority really in giving way, or was it in finding some brief personal peace in themselves in doing an action that helps them to recognise that the world isn't all chaos, greed, and disease.
Ok ok, it seems maybe a little out there. But I'm talking on more of a subconscious level for the majority. But what some of us don't realise, is that subconscious brain activity has a massive impact on the things we do. Instinct, for example, being one of the most basic examples of subconscious thinking.
But why is it that some of us follow the professions that we do, why is it that we donate money or clothes to charity, why do we give our time for free to those who need a favour, or to a cause that has greater community impact if not ultimately for a sense of personal fulfilment.
Yes, because it's the right thing to do, and yes it's good to do things that don't have any perceivable consequence to yourself, but would you be lying to yourself if you said you didn't feel good about the actions you've committed afterwards?
In the same way that we feel remorse when we do wrong, we feel satisfaction when we do good, and that's not only OK, but natural. We like that feeling, a wash of happiness, and some people get such a kick out of that feeling that it drives them to enact entire charitable empires in an effort to help those in unfortunate circumstances, or perhaps pursue a career in medicine to help those at potentially the worst part of their life. Noble causes indeed, yet truthfully, born of the need to please our soul.
So why, do we hold these life changers in such a higher regard than the life affirmers; those that inherently seek the same thing, but by other means that don't influence people?
Some of us don't have the academic capacity to become members of the emergency services, and some of us don't have the persuasive capability to build a network of donors towards a good cause, and for some, our id just overtakes, and we need more immediacy in our gratifications, and therefore more of it (let's ignore the psychopathic and sexually criminal aspects of that one for now).
I feel like those that become entertainers, performers, creators, are those that have indulged in the notion that this base need to validate ourselves is born from ego...Narcissism. Yet we have deemed the term to be most affiliated with negative qualities. We don't like people who are blatant in their need to be fulfilled, because like many behaviours we consider to be distasteful, we are threatened by it.
We are threatened by the concept that these people, also in their quest for inner peace, may be achieving it in a greater capacity, but also the confidence they exude. Confidence can be a threat to us, because those without it are reminded of various uncertainties within themselves.
Narcissism is not a negative quality, it's a trait that we all have. Those we consider narcissistic are just those with the confidence and potential understanding that everything we do throughout our lives is for one goal - To please ourselves. To give our lives a sense of purpose and meaning.
Be it saving the life of another, or wanting people to see how well we can sing, our actions are all one and the same when the world will eventually spin out into a heat death, where our existence is wiped and forgotten.
Everybody is looking for a reason for being, consciously, or subconsciously. Some are more forthright in their understanding of such, and if your natural state of being dictates that you need more immediate (legal) fulfillments, or need it on a larger scale, is it really a bad thing?
If narcissism is self love, well, we should love ourselves anyway, and as with everything, there are numerous routes you can take to achieve to same results.