If we ask dads who diligently work to earn money, ‘for whom are you working?’ they would probably answer that they work hard for their kids. People also often work hard and earn money for a lover to make him/her happy. Soldiers are loyal to their country and carry out their duties diligently. People try to live for others but it isn’t easy to live for someone else. In actuality, it is nearly impossible because every one of us lives holding onto the self and perceiving our self as the most important. It is truly difficult to give up the self and live for someone else.
There is a formula that commonly appears in Hollywood movies. For example, in the blockbuster movie, Armageddon, the character played by Bruce Willis, ends up giving up his life for his son-in-law as well as mankind. Many heroes are already around us, such as the 911 rescue units who sacrifice their lives to save another’s life. Ordinary people cannot really do it. I, myself cannot say that I am living for someone. You can easily say that you live for your wife, children or parents. However, it is actually a lie as long as you hold onto yourself. By holding the self, it is impossible to devote one’s life or live 100% for others. Everyone lives with the mind for the self and lives with that mind. It might be the most difficult task in the world to let go of the self, 100%.
A philosopher said that a human is a selfish animal. However, humans hide that selfish nature and have to have education and abide by laws in order to live harmoniously with other members of society. If there were no laws or education in the world, there would be disorder and chaos and the crime rate would be extremely high. It is certain that humans are selfish. Of course, there would be some difference in the degree of selfishness between people. What we consider the most important these days in a society is teamwork so a human tries to be unselfish in certain circumstances. Since a human cannot live by himself, he sometimes abandons his selfishness or opinions and often goes with the flow of the whole team. Let’s take sports as an example. In baseball or football, too, if an outstanding player ignores his teammates or has poor teamwork, the team would most likely become a losing team. There is also a famous saying that no player is bigger than the team. Likewise, our society considers eliminating the self as a virtue. In order to care for one another, care for our parents and our country, don’t we have to, at least, get an education of how to eliminate the self?
The self is an illusion and therefore, it can be eliminated if you eliminate it. If everyone in the world eliminates the self, finds the real self and lives for others, every aspect of the world – science, civilization, education and politics – would advance much more. The world would become a much better world.