In the last few months, I've developed a theory about why people are selfish.
Traditionally, we might think of a selfish person as having a character flaw. In some cases, we attribute selfish or greedy behavior as a sign of immaturity (eg. "He'll grow up someday and learn to share.)
Both of these notions are likely wrong. I think that selfishness is a symptom of a lack of confidence. We hoard because we think that the pie of life is shrinking and we aren't confident we'll get our fair share. We keep ideas to ourselves because we fear we'll never have another good one again.
We pass-the-plate for charities, church and friends in need because we are not confident that we'll ever make money again. In other words, selfishness flows from a crisis in personal confidence. As the economy shrinks from a lack of business confidence, love and charity shrink from a lack of personal confidence.
When I see someone behaving selfishly, I see a personal recession in full bloom. If you want to help someone learn generosity or patience, help them find some confidence. They can seek self confidence or confidence in an organization they belong to. When they find this confidence, they will also find the abundance mentality.
To come in future posts: How to bolster your total confidence and coach it in others.