The Fine Line Between Self-Care & Selfishness


If you spend a few hours around a baby or toddler, you will see that they act in accordance to their natural desire to survive and be looked after. They do not care if their parent is in the middle of an important conversation, they will cry for food when hungry. I remember when my baby cousin started crying at the sight of his mother holding another baby, even though he too was being held, simply because he wanted the love of his mother for himself. Even at such a young age, a baby knows that its mother is a haven and so it craves her attention and love. We see these things as natural for a baby, an innate desire to ensure its own well-being and health. Therefore, we wouldn’t dare call a 3-month-old baby selfish for simple self-preserving actions.

As we get older, we learn patience and tolerance of others. We also learn that we don’t have an automatic right to a plate of food just because we’re hungry. If a child was to continue portraying these characteristics into adulthood, they indeed would be called selfish, even if the same motive that a baby has is the foundation of their actions.

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