Is this selfish?


#1

so i'm part of this honour society for university students called golden key.

each year there is a conference in the field you specilize in. for me it would be medicine.

i really want to go but the thing is, the tuition costs $3000. would it be selfish to sitll consider it? my parents wouldn't be able to afford it so i would have to fundraise since i don't have a job.

i hate askingpeople for money as it stands; and i always feel guilty spending money on myself. to the point, where i never really buy myself clothes or eat out too often. and if i do, it's always really cheap.

is it too much selfish ambition to want to do this? on one hand, i think it would be a good experience. on the other hand, better things could be done with the money.

i've already declined the invitation twice because of how i felt, but they keep inviting me back. and this would probably be my last year to be able to go since i will be graduating soon.


#2

No, it would not be selfish. I think a reasonable definition of selfishness is "elevating oneself (by taking things, credit, whatever) beyond what one can reasonably claim at the expense of others." This is not what you would be doing.

First, we are not required to only spend the bare minimum on ourselves. Doing so can be admirable, but is not required, so even (within reason) occasionally spending large chunks of money on purely pleasurable activity is not "selfish" (and this is not what you are doing, but even if it were). We may enjoy the good world. We must do what we can to help others, but we need not renounce all pleasures, even if doing so enables us to help more. If you take things you have fairly owned, or were freely given to you, and if you use a reasonable amount of your time and money to help others, then the "at the expense of others" element is simply not there. We have obligations to others, and exceeding those obligations is admirable, but so long as we meet them we may certainly use our stuff on us - even if what is ours is given to us.

Second, what you are doing isn't purely for your own pleasure, but it could actually help you - and by extension, help others later on. If it helps your career so that you make more money, and if you use a specific portion of your income/time in the future to help others, then furthering your career will increase the amount you can help others in the future. Rather like an investment. So even though the fact that the money could be used to better immediate effect now, using it to help yourself very well could pay itself off in greater (then) immediate effects later on, by giving you more resources later. (And as mentioned above, even if it didn't that wouldn't mean that you would be morally required to refrain from going.)

And thirdly, while I can absolutely relate to hating asking people for money, note that if they give it to you, they are freely choosing to do so to help you, and as just mentioned their investment in you can result in returns that will help others for more later on. So while the money is going to you at the moment, if this helps you out in this non-directly-essential way (help with career) it will enable you to give essential help (donate to food banks or whatever) to others later on. So the money used to help you could in fact help others in more essential ways indirectly.

Ambition is not bad. Expensive things are not bad. Using money to advance your career is not bad, and even simply treating oneself (within reason) is not bad.

Long story short, it takes money to accomplish anything, and while all that money could be used to accomplish things that would have better immediate effects, it would reduce the future potential to achieve similar effects.

If you can raise the money, going would be a great thing. Just remember the help that you received in doing so, and do your best to spread it around later on.


#3

[quote="Iron_Donkey, post:2, topic:346959"]
No, it would not be selfish. I think a reasonable definition of selfishness is "elevating oneself (by taking things, credit, whatever) beyond what one can reasonably claim at the expense of others." This is not what you would be doing.

First, we are not required to only spend the bare minimum on ourselves. Doing so can be admirable, but is not required, so even (within reason) spending large chunks of money on purely pleasurable activity is not "selfish". We may enjoy the good world. We must do what we can to help others, but we need not renounce all pleasures, even if doing so enables us to help more.

Second, what you are doing isn't purely for your own pleasure, but it could actually help you. And if it helps your career so that you make more money, and if you use a specific portion of your income/time in the future to help others, then increasing that amount will increase the amount you can help others in the future. Rather like an advancement. So even though the fact that the money could be used to better immediate effect now, using it to help yourself very well could pay itself off later on by enabling you to do more help later. (And as mentioned above, even if it didn't that wouldn't mean that you should refrain from going.)

And thirdly, while I can absolutely relate to hating asking people for money, note that if they give it to you, they are freely choosing to do so to help you, and as just mentioned their investment in you can result in returns that will help others for more later on. So while the money is going to you at the moment, if this helps you out in this non-essential way (help with career) it will enable you to give essential help to others later on. So the money used to help you is in fact helping others indirectly.

Ambition is not bad. Expensive things are not bad. Using money to advance your career is not bad, and even simply treating oneself (within reason) is not bad.

Long story short, it takes money to accomplish anything, and while all that money could be used to accomplish things that would have better immediate effects, it would reduce the future potential to achieve similar effects.

If you can raise the money, going would be a great thing. Just remember the help that you received in doing so, and do your best to spread it around later on.

[/quote]

yes, the reason i want to go in to medicine in the first place is so that i can help treat people. i don't know if i'm good enough to get in but i want to at least try. and if not, knowledge is never wasted, i feel like i could use it at least indirectly to still help people. thank you for your advice, i guess i will pray about it some more though


#4

Selfish? Who put that idea into your head? The money you'd be making in medicine later would pay the measly $3000 off in no time. Try to get a student loan, scholarship, or some such grant.


#5

[quote="angell1, post:1, topic:346959"]
so i'm part of this honour society for university students called golden key.

each year there is a conference in the field you specilize in. for me it would be medicine.

i really want to go but the thing is, the tuition costs $3000. would it be selfish to sitll consider it? my parents wouldn't be able to afford it so i would have to fundraise since i don't have a job.

i hate askingpeople for money as it stands; and i always feel guilty spending money on myself. to the point, where i never really buy myself clothes or eat out too often. and if i do, it's always really cheap.

is it too much selfish ambition to want to do this? on one hand, i think it would be a good experience. on the other hand, better things could be done with the money.

i've already declined the invitation twice because of how i felt, but they keep inviting me back. and this would probably be my last year to be able to go since i will be graduating soon.

[/quote]

Why would be a problem as long as you raise the tuition fee legitimately.


#6

Please get some spiritual guidance locally. The totatlity of your posts point to some possible scrupulous tendencies and some balanced spiritual counseling from a priest or spiritual director would be a good avenue. This is not meant as a criticism, but as a help. Spiritual direction can be very hepful, I have found.


#7

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