Finished reading two interesting books recently.
The first is Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach. A fictional story with profound messages such as:
“Anybody who’s ever mattered, anybody who’s ever been happy, anybody who’s ever given any gift into the world has been a divinely selfish soul, living for his own best interest. No exceptions.”
“Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully.”
The second is The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand. A journey to the essence of objectivist ethics:
“To live for his own sake means that the achievement of his own happiness is man’s highest moral purpose.”
“The three cardinal values of the Objectivist Ethics – the three values which, together, are the means to and the realization of one’s ultimate value, one’s own life – are: Reason, Purpose, Self-Esteem, with their corresponding virtues: Rationality, Productiveness, Pride.”
Both the books deal with a common theme: happiness and man’s self interest; and make one ponder on the interconnectedness of the two. Happiness is often defined as a state of well-being, with the latter itself being largely dependent on living a productive life. In a highly interconnected and interdependent world, a person’s happiness, may however, not be independent of another person’s happiness; Ayn Rand answers this dilemma beautifully:
“The principle of trade is the only rational ethical principle for all human relationships, personal and social, private and public, spiritual and material. It is the principle of justice.”
Much to think about !