concept

selfishness Quotes

66 of the best book quotes about selfishness
  1. #1
    “He who gives himself entirely to his fellow-men appears to them useless and selfish; but he who gives himself partially to them is pronounced a benefactor and philanthropist.”
  2. #2
    “Do you even remember the person she actually was? Do you remember how she could be a selfish? That was part of her, and you used to know it. It’s like now you only care about the Alaska you made up.”
  3. #3
    “For the most part people are not curious except about themselves.“
  4. #4
    “Fairies are vain, selfish creatures. You may have noticed I drained all the fountains and the birdbaths outside. When they are full, the fairies assemble to stare at their reflections all day.”
  5. #5
    “Man serves the interests of no creature except himself.”
  6. #6
    “And now we come to one of the nastiest things in this story. Up to that moment Edmund had been feeling sick, and sulky, and annoyed with Lucy for being right, but he hadn’t made up his mind what to do. When Peter suddenly asked him the question he decided all at once to do the meanest and most spiteful thing he could think of. He decided to let Lucy down.”
  7. #7
    “We were too tired to help. Above 8,000 meters is not a place where people can afford morality.”
  8. #8
    “Most of us were simply wrapped too tightly in the grip of summit fever to engage in thoughtful reflection about the death of someone in our midst.”
  9. #9
    “I think it’s something about the inevitability. How nothing can keep them apart-not her selfishness, or his evil, or even death, in the end...”
  1. #10
    “In this course, it is not ‘Who do I want to be in life?’ but ‘What is it that I want to accomplish in life?’ Setting aside selfish interest, it asks: What calling does it serve? What principles govern my choices? Do I want to be like everyone else or do I want to do something different?”
  2. #11
    She had never known it to be so silent before. She heard neither voices nor footsteps, and wondered if everybody had got well of the cholera and all the trouble was over. She wondered also who would take care of her now her Ayah was dead. There would be a new Ayah, and perhaps she would know some new stories. Mary had been rather tired of the old ones. She did not cry because her nurse had died. She was not an affectionate child and had never cared much for any one. The noise and hurrying about and wailing over the cholera had frightened her, and she had been angry because no one seemed to remember that she was alive. Everyone was too panic-stricken to think of a little girl no one was fond of. When people had the cholera it seemed that they remembered nothing but themselves. But if everyone had got well again, surely some one would remember and come to look for her.
  3. #12
    It’ll do thee good to wait on thysen a bit.
  4. #13
    “Dear Scarlett! You aren’t helpless. Anyone as selfish and determined as you are is never helpless.”
  5. #14
    “I bite my lip, feeling inferior. While I’ve been ruminating on the availability of trees, Peeta has been struggling with how to maintain his identity. His purity of self.”
  6. #15
    “Perhaps part of being less offendable is seeing the human heart for what it is, Untrustworthy. Unfaithful. Prone to selfishness. Got it. Now we don’t have to be shocked”
  7. #16
    “Her words stayed with him. For as long as he could remember, he had focused on himself, what he wanted, and how he’d get it.”
  8. #17
    “I find that the moment I let a woman make friends with me, she becomes jealous, exacting, suspicious, and a damned nuisance. I find that the moment I let myself make friends with a woman, I become selfish and tyrannical. Women upset everything.”
  9. #18
    “His wealth is of no use to him. He don’t do any good with it. . . . I am sorry for him; I couldn’t be angry with him if I tried. Who suffers by his ill whims! Himself, always.”

Books by Charles Dickens

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David Copperfield book
Charles Dickens, Karen Donnelly
Chapter book
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  1. #19
    “If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”
  2. #20
    “Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner!”
  3. #21
    “It should be Christmas Day, I am sure,” said she, “on which one drinks the health of such an odious, stingy, hard, unfeeling man as Mr. Scrooge. You know he is, Robert! Nobody knows it better than you do, poor fellow! . . . I’ll drink his health for your sake and the Day’s . . . not for his. Long life to him! A merry Christmas and a happy new year! He’ll be very merry and very happy, I have no doubt!”
  4. #22
    “Sir! You are crazy with greed. There is no one on earth that would buy that fool Thneed!”
  5. #23
    ″[B]usiness is business! And business must grow regardless of crummies in tummies, you know.”
  6. #24
    “Selfish persons are incapable of loving others, but they are not capable of loving themselves either.”
  7. #25
    “Anything or anyone that asks you to be other than yourself is not holy, but is trying only to fill its own need.”
  8. #26
    “Self-care is never a selfish act - it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others.”
  9. #27
    “Then, he thought, how soon he’d turn his back upon the old school-house; snap his fingers in the face of Hans Van Ripper, and every other niggardly patron, and kick any itinerant pedagogue out of doors that should dare to call him comrade!”
  1. #28
    “It doesn’t matter how much you love someone, you are never going to be what that person wants you to be.”
  2. #29
    “This miserable fate Suffer the wretched souls of those, who liv’d Without or praise or blame, with that ill band Of angels mix’d, who nor rebellious prov’d Nor yet were true to God, but for themselves Were only.”
  3. #30
    “And we needed that money so badly at the time, the whole family was elated. But Kota kept almost all the money for himself.”
  4. #31
    “Suddenly those stares made sense. My intentions didn’t matter. They didn’t know I didn’t want this. In their eyes, I was a threat. And I could see they wanted me gone.”
  5. #32
    “I think (and Digory thinks too) that her mind was of a sort which cannot remember that quiet place at all, and however often you took her there and however long you left her there, she would still know nothing about it. Now that she was left alone with the children, she took no notice of either of them. And that was like her too. In Charn she had taken no notice of Polly (till the very end) because Digory was the one she wanted to make use of. Now that she had Uncle Andrew, she took no notice of Digory. I expect most witches are like that. They are not interested in things or people unless they can use them; they are terribly practical.”
  6. #33
    “There was no doubt that the Witch had got over her faintness; and now that one saw her in our own world, with ordinary things around her, she fairly took one’s breath away. In Charn she had been alarming enough: in London, she was terrifying. For one thing, they had not realized till now how very big she was. […] But even her height was nothing compared with her beauty, her fierceness, and her wildness. She looked ten times more alive than most of the people one meets in London. Uncle Andrew was bowing and rubbing his hands and looking, to tell the truth, extremely frightened. He seemed a little shrimp of a creature beside the Witch. And yet, as Polly said afterward, there was a sort of likeness between her face and his, something in the expression. It was the look that all wicked Magicians have, the ‘Mark’ which Jadis had said she could not find in Digory’s face.”
  7. #34
    ″ ‘Speak’, she begged silently. ‘Give me a reason to stay’. For all his selfishness and cruelty, Kaz was still the boy who had saved her. She wanted to believe he was worth saving, too.”
  8. #35
    “When she was angry her little eyes flashed blue. When she hated anybody, they shone yellow and green. What they looked like when she loved anybody, I do not know; for I never heard of her loving anybody but herself, and I do not think she could have managed that if she had not somehow got used to herself.”
  9. #36
    From now on I’m thinking only of me.
  1. #37
    “Your time is important, your energy is finite, and your attention is precious, so value who and where you spend it accordingly. You are the only one who can set those kinds of expectations and teach people how to treat you. Be selfish, and I promise everyone will benefit.”
  2. #38
    “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
  3. #39
    “I am a totally selfish human being. I never do something for somebody else but that I do it for myself. And as I grow through love, so grows my joy, ever more present, ever more constant.”
  4. #40
    “It is not selfishness or unselfishness that distinguishes love from non-love; it is the aim of the action.”
  5. #41
    “Don’t we forgive everything of a lover? We forgive selfishness, desire, guile. As long as we are the motive for it.”
  6. #42
    “The problem of reconciling human suffering with the existence of a God who loves, is only insoluble so long as we attach a trivial meaning to the word “love”, and look on things as if man were the centre of them.”
  7. #43
    “But my sin was this, that I looked for pleasure, beauty, and truth not in him but in myself and his other creatures, and the search led me instead to pain, confusion, and error.”
  8. #44
    “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and . . . then retreated back into their money . . . and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
  9. #45
    “One man’s ways may be as good as another’s, but we all like our own best.”
  1. #46
    “Catherine had said it, he was selfish; everybody was selfish; it was not a pretty thing, to be selfish, but he was not alone in it.”
  2. #47
    “And isn’t that the root of every despicable action? Not selfishness, but precisely the absence of self.”
  3. #48
    “It’s not my business,” Scrooge returned. “It’s enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people’s. Mine occupies me constantly.”
  4. #49
    “Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dog-days; and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas.”
  5. #50
    ″‘There are some upon this earth of yours,’ returned the Spirit, ‘who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us.‘”
  6. #51
    “I wish to be left alone,” said Scrooge. “Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry.”
  7. #52
    “A poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December!” said Scrooge, buttoning his great-coat to the chin. “But I suppose you must have the whole day. Be here all the earlier next morning.”
  8. #53
    Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure.
  9. #54
    And the wind kissed the tree, and the dew watered it with tears; but the fir-tree regarded them not.

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  1. #55
    “People are only mean when they’re threatened . . . and that’s what our culture does. That’s what our economy does. Even people who have jobs in our economy are threatened, because they worry about losing them. And when you get threatened, you start looking out only for yourself.”
  2. #56
    “Kindness, merely as such, cares not whether its object becomes good or bad, provided only that it escapes suffering.”
  3. #57
    “The essence of the suicides consisted not of sadness or mystery but simple selfishness.”
  4. #58
    “The outrageousness of a human being thinking only of herself. ”
  5. #59
    “There are three possibilities: you can offer to serve the other with joy, you can make the offer with coldness or resentment, or you can selfishly insist on your own way.”
  6. #60
    “I am selfish and cruel and extremely unreasonable. But I am your servant. When you starve I will feed you; when you are sick I will tend you. I crawl at your feet; for before your love, your kisses, I am debased. For you alone I will be weak.”
  7. #61
    “Poor fellow! thought I, he means no mischief; it is plain he intends no insolence; his aspect sufficiently evinces that his eccentricities are involuntary… if I turn him away, the chances are he will fall in with some less indulgent employer, and then he will be rudely treated, and perhaps driven forth miserably to starve. Yes. Here I can cheaply purchase a delicious self-approval. To befriend Bartleby, to humor him in his strange willfulness, will cost me little or nothing, while I lay up in my soul what will eventually prove a sweet morsel for my conscience.”
  8. #62
    “There is recompense for suffering. A principle beyond selfishness is at work in the cosmos. All will be well. I do not know whether any of this is true. I am certain that the scientific community does not know that it is false.”
  9. #63
    “A compassionate concern for others’ well-being is the source of happiness… a self-centered attitude is the source of the problem. We have to take care of ourselves without selfishly taking care of ourselves. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we cannot survive. We need to do that. We should have wise selfishness rather than foolish selfishness.”
  10. #64
    “The trouble with Clare was, not only that she wanted to have her cake and eat it too, but that she wanted to nibble at the cakes of other folks as well.”
  11. #65
    “You may be the sort of tourist who would wonder why a Prime Minister would want an airport named after him—why not a school, why not a hospital, why not some great public monument?”
  12. #66
    “Selfishness, self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate.”
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