Recently I clicked on this article titled "Marriage Isn't For Me
" the teaser below it said something like "but wait, keep reading, it's not as bad as you think!" as if someone deciding they didn't want marriage had resulted in shock and horror.
The article was even worse. Basically the moral is people shouldn't get married for themselves, they should do it for the happiness of their spouse, future children, and family. This reminded me of Herman's claims that he is selfish.
I read a few posts by Marcus that have really stuck with me for some time now. One that really got me was a time he was questioning why he would want someone to spend time with him (or do anything for him) that she didn't want to do herself? Would you REALLY want someone to spend time with you because you asked or because you deserve it or because its fair or because she has some kind of commitment to you or for literally any other reason besides them wanting to spend time with you?
My mind wants to answer that question no. I don't want my husband to wake up and spend another day with me because he made a commitment to do so or even because he loves me and that means he wants ME to be happy. I want him to do it because that is what he wanted that day. Of course I am often afraid and want for security but I don't want it more than I want freedom and the pursuit of happiness. Yeah individual happiness. Herman always says, "if it doesn't make you happy don't do it."
So I read something like this article and I see the floweriness of it. Oh you make a decision to care for the happiness of someone else more than your own, and yes I agree maybe that should apply to your children. Thats why I don't have any. But I don't feel the need to surrender my life to anyone else. If that makes me a horrible person to most, I'm not sure I care. I understand how a lot of people could say that makes me incapable of love but I just don't see it that way.
I am much more comfortable with Herman's idea of caring for others. Unlike the guy in the article, he doesn't live to make me smile, he makes me smile because that brings him joy. Even when one gives love "selflessly" in bad times (again such as this article.) I prefer to see it as a personal choice made and not an act "of love" that one just does BECAUSE they love and that's what LOVE means. Yes I think love means you want to make someone else happy, but that is because doing so makes you happy. This is the very reason Herman calls himself selfish.
I think its a bummer that people live their lives having personal philosphy given to them and not figuring it out for themselves. I feel kinda bad it took me so long to understand his take on selfishness. I hope working on a personal philosphy of my own reminds me to live more often as the person I'd like to be.