The Virtue of Selfishness

So today is the opening day at the theaters for Atlas Shrugged, the movie.  The book, which was first released in 1957, is a classic by author Ayn Rand, whose philosophy of Objectivism has long been embraced by those who agree that the moral purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness.  Essentially, it is a philosophy of human achievement, individualism, the market economy and the failure of government involvement.

Now, I have long been a fan as I agree with this purpose.  Rand’s The Fountainhead is one of my very favorite books.  I love it because the protagonists are those that pursue excellence and achievement based on their God-given talents without regard to what society says or dictates.  As I’ve said before, it is so bold to be this way and actually, is quite a rare individual.  As we all know, unfortunately, society’s pressures are so strong that it’s easier to fit in and be accepted than to boldly pursue your individuality and labeled an outcast.  I mean, why risk the judgment of being called a weirdo by everyone around you?

However, I firmly believe that if you are happy (as a result of being the best person you were created to be), then the snowball effect is that others around you will also be happy…at least, those around you that are secure and self-actualized.  Unfortunately, those that are not will likely be jealous and petty.

But who cares?  It’s not your life’s mission to make them happy.  You need only to focus on your own happiness.  Let them find their own happiness.  Besides, if they are gossiping and talking about you, it just means that they’re not focused on pursuing their own excellence.

And that’s why you’re a threat…because you actually are.

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