Selfish or Selfless?

This question’s been asked
Time and again:
Are we altruistic
Or just selfish men?
Some say that we’re wired
Right down to our genes
To benefit regardless
Of heartwarming scenes:
All the things that we do
Will make us feel good
Or save us from feelings
Of guilt-ridden should.
But what about men who
Give up their own lives?
Now why would they want to
Leave children and wives?
And even if guilt was
A merciless guide,
Is it just a matter
Of living with pride?

Kindness and charity
Can make us feel nice,
But surely this shouldn’t
Be seen as a vice.
If all of our actions
Are selfish to start,
Then the acts that are less
Will tell them apart.

9 thoughts on “Selfish or Selfless?

  1. again, with your ending that just catches me– and hits me over the head– or directly in the stomach, or heart. it’s like a sucker punch– but a good sucker punch– one that you just don’t see coming. love it.

    1. I don’t see it coming either until I get there. I’m just happy if things make sense, more or less. πŸ™‚

      1. all the better– that’s the beauty of it. it’s what makes your writing so alive.

  2. Are you studying Ethics, by chance? This is a pretty cool poem. My last instructor (who is also a poet) would get a kick out of this.

    1. Not intentionally but tangentially, through observation. Glad you liked it. πŸ™‚

  3. It’s a complicated old world, and my coffee’s not kicked in properly yet.

    1. Coffee makes everything less complicated.

  4. Oh yes you deserve some catnip for that one!

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