I believe that humanity as a whole is selfish underneath all acts of compassion.
Humans are essentially just civilized animals that can control their urges to varying extents. This being said, it can be assumed that each and every person has the innate trait of being selfish. Each of the seven deadly sins can be linked to selfishness. At this point, most would stop me and ask me if I believe those who have done great and ultimately sacrificial things are selfish. My answer would be yes.
I believe that each and every human being is selfish, what varies is the ability to contain this nasty quality and act differently. It is really just a measure of one's self control, the same as someone trying to resist weight gain by over indulging. The inborn characteristic drives us to do things to better ourselves and our lives. Even in seemingly selfless acts, we are feeding our own lust. In our modern world if you make a great sacrifice or donation, you are recognized and given fame for it. Aside from being seen as great, helping others gives us a sense of pleasure and fulfillment. Correct me if I am wrong, but most humans feel good about helping those less fortunate. The actions themselves are selfless, but the motivations and the results are selfish.
This being said, I do not believe it is necessarily a bad thing to be selfish. It is one of the best defenses one has for protection and also can help motivate someone to commit acts that will make a difference. Yet, if selfishness is our motivation, why do we love?
Love is essentially a handicap, preventing us from fully protecting our fragile hearts. When you love someone, you give them a part of you and hope they will not break it apart. Yet, so often it happens, we fall in love and then we get hurt. Do we selfishly crave the thrill of falling hard for someone, the mystery and the blind hope that things will work out? Do we throw ourselves at the wrong people because we selfishly think it is all about us? Do we break the hearts of others to lessen the chance that they will break ours? Do we break our own hearts for that reason?
I think in falling in love, we are able to experience such strong feelings that leave us breathless. Everything we feel is magnified, the happiness is so much greater and the hurt is so much more painful. We can feel alive and like we have a purpose. Love is like a drug, it alters reality. Sometimes it is like a bad trip, you want out as soon as possible. Sometimes it is amazing and you never want to come down. We fall in love to feel things for ourselves, thus love is a selfish thing, sometimes felt alone and sometimes mutually shared. Often times, people fall in love with someone who wants nothing to do with them, pushing themselves into their life. If you can fall in love with someone who does not want you to, thus putting a burden on them, how is it not selfish?This is just my theory. I do not know much about love or life in general, but this is my perspective. I am a human being, I am selfish and even though I hate to admit it, I love.Do you agree that selfishness is an inborn trait that has a large impact on humanity?