Addiction and selfishness are two things that go hand in hand. In some ways they can be considered the same thing. It is impossible to be addicted and not be selfish. Likewise, selfishness is its own kind of addiction, one that craves self gratification. Addiction and selfishness are inherently two distinct, separate things, but many of their facets are identical. It is important to understand why these two states of being so closely resemble one another in order to defeat both of them.
It is true that addiction is a form of selfishness. Addiction does not do any good in the world. It has one purpose, and one purpose alone: to gratify its perpetrator. It does not enrich the person’s life, help them grow as a person, nourish them on any level or contribute anything else positive. In fact, rather than do any good, addiction deteriorates a person’s life out from under them. It destroys their character, damages their relationships, hurts their reputation, makes them unavailable to their commitments and obligations and hurts their physical health. Addiction is a totally self serving endeavor.
Selfishness is certainly its own form of addiction as well. We are all familiar with what it is like to be selfish. Selfishness can feel very gratifying. It gives us a sense of control and escape when we desire it. Knowing that we can turn to things that make us feel good and allow us to shut out the rest of the world gives us pleasure. And while it is true that people should be allowed to escape into pleasureful things within moderation, the danger is how easily one can reside in their selfishness and not want to come out. Selfishness is addictive for those who are weak in character.
In order to eradicate selfishness, one must eradicate addiction, and vis versa. The process of growth toward healthy, balanced, selfless ways is a gradual one. Selfishness and addiction are both deeply ingrained patterns that are rooted in a person’s psychology. Transitioning out of them does not mean that one can never care for or think of their self. It simply means that they need to learn to initially separate themselves from addiction and selfishness, and ultimately moderate the self interests and pleasures they allow into their lives.