Selfishness is a Burden

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“I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their own happiness or satisfaction,” Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhist and Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Humanity, in general, suffers from selfishness. Even when we see how sharing or being courteous positively affects both us and all those around, it can still be hard to overcome the strong desire to please self above others. Parents and teachers agree that selfishness is a trait that classrooms worldwide try to overcome. It is important to note that selfishness can be a burden – to others, and ultimately, to the one desiring nothing but his own good.
Author Paolo Tiberi tells the tale of a selfish King who is awakened from his selfish folly. In The King and the Thief, part of Chronicles of King Argoz, Prince Ultan and Princess Maya, the young King Argoz is pampered and high taxes require the people of the land to support all the whims of their monarch. Taxes were higher than ever, and the punishment for failure to pay was great and without mercy. King Argoz’ Kingdom truly was in peril because he could not see anything but his own desires.

“The once loyal Kingdom began to struggle. They could not support the lavish lifestyle of King Argoz.”
Children often think their selfish acts only effect themselves, but here King Argoz' actions affect the entire kingdom. The same is true for each of us. While a child may not affect an entire Kingdom with his or her selfish actions, his actions will influence those around him. What if, on play day, a child’s friend loses his toy? Does the child decide not to share his own? If so, his friend is affected and remains sad. What if another child’s friend forgets his lunch money? Will he choose to share his own or leave his friend hungry? Certainly, children are good at making decisions to see to their own happiness and peace of mind, but are they able to see someone else’s need and give something up to help them?
Opportunities to share abound in the classroom and home environments. An observant teacher can point out examples of selfishness and show how those actions negatively impact everyone else. An observant parent can highlight how selfishness hurts the entire family. To make this lesson more real for children, I suggest role-playing the first part of the story in a classroom setting. Give all the children in the class a small amount of candy or coin-like objects. Ask the children to think about what they would do with their money. Suggest buying groceries or clothing. Appoint a King or have the teacher act out the King. As the King increases what he’s asking for and acting more and more self-centered, call upon the children to pay for his expenses with their ‘money.’ When they are down to their last coins, ask them how hard it will be to buy what they need with what they have left. The game can continue until the students seem to understand that the actions of one, in this case the King, affects others.

Children, and adults for that matter, are hardwired to think of themselves first and foremost. King Argoz certainly was, too. However, when the King looked around and saw that his actions were hurting everyone around him, he woke up and changed his outlook and actions.
“The lavish lifestyle of the young King Argoz was replaced by a life devoted to his people. Little by little, the entire Kingdom began to flourish again.”
With a little thought, some consistent training and opportunities to practice, the youngest generations can become such great givers and selfless beacons that needs are met before they are even fully realized. How great would it be for our selfish propensities that potentially harm or hinder those around us to turn into selfless propensities that encourage, edify, strengthen and provide for our communities?

Chronicles of King Argoz, Prince Ultan and Princess Maya is the first of a series of riveting books in the Legends of Altai series by renowned self-awareness expert, Paolo F. Tiberi.

The book is revolutionary as it teaches kids respect, life lessons and values through story telling, a language that all kids can understand.

The Legends of Altai is intended as a ‘Life Manual’ for children and has been described as 'The Secret’ meets ‘The Alchemist’ and the Chicken Soup for the Soul' rolled into one.

If you would like to get a FREE chapter showcasing the book narrative style and story telling, please visit: Legends of Altai

The book is available now through Amazon and the official website:

For more information on the author please visit Paolo Tiberi

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