Selfishness

Selling Out to Gain Favor

It’s tremendously disconcerting that people are willing to try to undermine people who are genuinely supportive of them and who they have developed a special bond with in some way. Some people simply don’t care who they have to hurt to get what they want. Some people are willing to disassemble a special bond they have established with others just to mollify their own selfish interests. You could have shared information in confidence with someone and that person can be so consumed with selfishness that he or she will not mind divulging that information to others just to gain favor from those who will be interested in the information and/or who can benefit from the information.

Have you ever shared information with another person who was in the same or similar position as you and the both of you exchanged information that was not to be revealed to anyone else? To gain a job, a vote, friends, acceptance, and etc., has anyone ever used this information against you to receive a quid pro quo from those who don’t support you? Well, if this has never happened to you, you need to know that it can happen and it does happen.

When individuals have not accomplished anything, that is, have no genuine achievements, and are seeking to obtain something to requires genuine accomplishments, you have to watch these individuals. People like this just might sell you out and/or attack you to secure the favor of the people who will be judging their record, a record that doesn’t feature a single authentic accomplishment.

If you have ever been sold out by someone, you need to know that this person will not prosper forever. This person is going to suffer greatly for the wrong that he or she has done to you. What these type of people don’t understand is the people who they have malevolently obtained favor from recognize what type of human beings they are to do what they did. When you are willing to sell out your friends, supporters, family, and others who you have a positive relationship with, this means that you have no morals and standards.

Selling out those who are on your side evinces that you are an empty human being trying to fill yourself up through what you sold people out for to get. The answer to ending your emptiness will not be in what you have gained; the answer to ridding yourself of your emptiness will be in eliminating your selfishness.

When things get to happening to you and nothing seems to go right for you, think about the people who you have sold out to conciliate your selfish interests. You better learn that people will retaliate and will do things to you that are far greater than what you have done. If they do retaliate against you, then you have no one to blame but yourself.

Therefore, go ahead and celebrate while you can and for as long as what you gained lasts. Your celebration is going to be anti-climactic. You need to remember that the people who you sold out have information that they can use against you—don’t forget that! Enjoy your ephemeral and nefarious celebration!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

End One-Way Street Relationships

I hate to be the one to tell you but you’re not going to be able to fool people forever. A person does not have to be the most intellectually sophisticated individual to recognize a pattern of being used by you. People will eventually recognize when you only communicate with them when you want something from them. Folks will start to notice that you only respond back to their text messages, Facebook messages, tweets, emails, and phone calls when you want something. In due time, people will see that you make everything about yourself. Many people who like to try to get over on people will only be upbeat around them when they are planning to ask them to do something for them.

It’s amazing how people will become your best friend when they want you to give them money and/or sex. It’s just a harsh reality that some people will be in your life just for what they can get out of you and from you. Now, I’ve written about these people who try to use you in Don’t Be A Leech!, and told you that you have to get rid of people who don’t value you in Spring Clean, but we need to explore why we continue to maintain relationships with people who just use us.

What is it about us that allows us to maintain relationships with people who use us? For the purposes of this article, when I refer to the word “relationships,” I mean relationships of all types, including friendships, marriages, intimate relationships, family relationships, business relationships, and etc. One of the dominant reasons why many of us, in my opinion, continue to maintain relationships with people who just use us is we are just selfless. This selflessness, however, can lead us to blindness for a certain period of time. The blindness that we experience for a certain period of time can cause us to intentionally or unintentionally overlook deliberate attempts by people to use us.

There’s a clear difference between people receiving from you because they are in need of your help, but that’s completely different from people who just are taking advantage of your selflessness and willingness to help them because they know the vulnerabilities of your selflessness.

When you are selflessly giving to people, make sure that you get something in return from them—that something can be as simple as a “thank you” or acts and/or words that evince gratitude.

Lately, I’ve witnessed how I will do substantial things for people and will not even receive any responses from them, not even responses that tell me “thank you” or that they received what I sent them. Some people seem to think that it’s my job to help them, and when I try to see if they received what I’ve sent them, I will not even get a reply from them via text message, email and/or telephone. Now, I want you to bear in mind that many of the substantial things that I have done for them involved me staying up all night to complete. I very much appreciate these people for giving me an education that I could have never obtained through my undergraduate and graduate training.

What I’ve learned is that you cannot allow yourself to become a blind giver. You have to be a wise giver. When you allow yourself to become a reckless giver, you open yourself to allowing others to exploit you. I’ve learned from those who have used me that you have to do a simple evaluation of everyone who you help. If these people are not giving you at least a sincere “thank you” in return for what you do for them, then please disassociate yourself from them. You don’t have to have a major altercation with them. All you need to do is don’t answer their phone calls, text messages, emails, and etc.—much in the same way that they have done to you for certain periods of time until they needed something else from you.

Don’t you just love when people try to act like they didn’t get your text message, Facebook message, direct message on Twitter, phone call, and/or email, but you see that they have tweeted several times since you contacted them and/or have updated their Facebook status after you have contacted them?

I urge you to discontinue relationships with people where they are just using you. These types of relationships simply bring you down inevitably. Don’t let your great selflessness turn into unintentional or intentional blindness. When people fail to demonstrate how appreciative they are of you when you clearly deserve appreciation, then remove these people from your life. At the end of the day, you cannot let your selflessness turn into stupidity.

For those readers who know me and you think this article is addressing you, it probably is. If I don’t tell you first, just ask me and I will let you know. I don’t do third person—never have and never will. When have you known me to hold back anything that I have to say to you and/or about you? Exactly!

Love responsibly. Give responsibly. Help responsibly. Be responsible.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Open Letter to NFL Owners

Dear NFL Owners:

The purpose of this missive is to implore you to end your attempts to gain an even greater share of revenues at the expense of millions of fans across the nation and globe who love and enjoy National Football League (NFL) athletic competition. At a time when we face great global economic turmoil, you are not showing fans any remorse by being avaricious. As you continue to look to mollify your own selfish interests, you only cause global morale to sink further. While I am not willing to completely agree with some players who claim that you are treating them like “modern slaves,” I do posit that you do economically exploit the professional athletes who work for you. It’s a derisory postulation for players to try to present themselves as “modern slaves” when they are millionaires. This faulty argument made by some NFL players, however, does not let you off the hook.

You make significantly more money off of the labor these professional athletes provide for you. It’s only greed that continues to motivate you to want more and more money for yourself. When people are struggling just to put food in their mouth, you are thinking only about how you can obtain more money to purchase yet another yacht or luxury automobile.

For many people across the globe, the only luxury they have is pulling up a chair to their television and watching an NFL game on Sunday. Because you cannot let your selfishness and insatiable appetite for money go, you are threatening to take away this luxury for people across the globe.

Do you not care anything about the health of your players? By extending the regular football season two games, this increases the likelihood of your players incurring season-ending injuries. The current 16 game regular season is already arduous enough for athletes. To help you to pay for your huge stadiums and bring in more ticket revenues, you would rather mortgage their health. Have you no scruples? The health of NFL players is more important than your bottom line.

You should go back to the negotiating table with NFL players with a serious mindset resolved to reach an equitable agreement with them. Have you ever heard of equity before?

If you prevent people across the globe, especially the American people, from watching their favorite athletes on television and in person, they will make you pay by turning a blind eye to you when football begins the next year that you come to an agreement with the players. Consumers will remember that when they were hurting the most, you took away something that offers comfort to them. I hope that you don’t think that consumers are unsophisticated and gullible. They know that you are responsible for this lockout.

Make a commitment today to reach a solemn agreement with the players, so that football fans can have an assurance that they will be able to witness another great season of NFL football. You may think that you are going to war with the NFL players, but you are really going to war with the fans, and I’m confident that we will inevitably have the last word with you about what we think about your conspicuous selfishness. Do the right thing!

Sincerely,

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Don’t Be a Leech

You should not always have your hands stuck out begging. At some point, you should have something to offer to someone else. When people give to you, learn how to give back to them. People will start to hate seeing you come around them because they know you will have something that you want them to do for you. Do you have people in your life who only call, email, text, and/or visit you when they want something from you and you never hear from them until they want something? Today, I want to let you know they are leeches. If you continue to feed leeches, they will zap all of the blood out of you. You may not understand what’s going on with how you feel,  why things are not going right in your life, why it seems that you don’t have enough time in the day, and/or why you are not able to meet your daily responsibilities. You need to check for leeches in your life. Leeches could be the very reason you are not progressing, improving, and/or feeling the way that you long to feel.

Don’t be so compassionate that you allow people to crumble your foundation. You have to be wise in your giving. Always examine your giving and make sure that you are giving to the right people and places. You are not the savior of the world, so don’t attempt to help too many people because you will be denying yourself from the great things that you need to enjoy for yourself. Helping too many people on your own is simply not healthy and not wise. You will physically, mentally, and emotionally weigh yourself down with stress when you are trying to help everyone. When you need some help, watch how many of those people who you helped will be there for you.

People will hang around you and contact you just to get benefits from you. Now, this can be expected from the complete strangers you may help or the random people you meet, but it’s those friends and family members you have to be more alert about being leeches. Leeches are not always easy to detect. We allow friends and family members to occupy certain spaces in our life that we don’t allow others to occupy. This is the reason why we have to have on more protective clothing when we are around our friends and family—they could be the greatest leeches we have on us. If you are always thoroughly examining yourself, then you will know if your friends and family members are leeches.

We often make ourselves too vulnerable to people who we believe love us and have our best interest in mind. You need to understand that you need to constantly assess those who you make yourself vulnerable to in some way. It can be the venomous people around you who are killing you and pushing you off of your road to greatness. The people who you love and trust can be the very people who are simply using you for what they can get from you. You cannot sit there and allow folks to suck all of the blood out of you and not have enough left for yourself.

I know that it might be difficult to think about your loved ones being leeches, but you have to be willing to examine them as potential leeches. Guard yourself in wise ways. Build necessary walls with certain people in your life. We hear a significant amount of discourse about tearing down walls, but there needs to be more discussion about building necessary walls. Walls exist for a purpose: to make sure that not just anyone can enter.

Beware of the leeches out there—they might be some people you least expect! If you are consciously a leech, stop being one today!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ungratefulness is Not a Good Look

When someone does something for you, you should have the decency to thank him or her. Now, you don’t have to thank people everyday for something they have done for you, but you should be eternally grateful for what they have done for you. When someone has helped you to get to the mountaintop, don’t look at them while you’re on the mountaintop like “who are you?” Reality check: This is the same person who was on the mountaintop before he or she threw you a rope to help you get on the mountaintop. Don’t ever forget this!

You can be on the mountaintop today and in the dark abyss tomorrow. You better start appreciating those people who have demonstrated nothing but a willing to help you. When someone who has proven to be a person who can and will help you, don’t get an attitude with him or her the moment he or she is unable to assist you. To get an attitude with someone who has proven time and time again to be a selfless giver to you, this manifests your true ungratefulness. Ungratefulness has its provenance in selfishness. You may be able to call me many things, but ungrateful is one thing that you cannot truthfully call me.

In no way am I asserting that you need to become a slave to the people who help you. You shouldn’t be a slave for any person! What you should be is an appreciative person who acknowledges the things that others have done and do for you. People often don’t take the time to reflect on how much others are helping them. They simply take for granted the help that others are constantly providing them. I encourage you to never take for granted the help that people give you. What are you going to do when you no longer receive the help that you so desperately need to continue to receive? You can sit back and act like you will survive without it. You probably will survive without their help but you certainly will be significantly impacted by this loss of help over time.

Those who give to others should not hold their generosity over the heads of others either. If you are going to be a true giver, don’t look for people to have a banquet in your honor each time you evince your selflessness. It’s more than reasonable for you to expect a simple thank you each time that you do something for others, however. You are well within reason to expect people to show gratitude for the things you do for them. Just don’t be the type of person who uses his or her abilities as ways to make people do what you want them to do. Moreover, I encourage you to not be the type of person who constantly reminds people of everything you have done and do for them. When you do this, it comes across as you have done and do those things for them for sheer recognition. You can be selfish in the way in which you give too—acknowledge that!

It’s just right to do right!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Hold Your Family and Friends Accountable

We have a responsibility to love and support our family and friends, but this does not mean that we should not hold them accountable for the things that they do and say. When your family members and friends tell you that they are going to do something for you, then you must hold them accountable to do whatever it is that they said they were going to do. If they do not do what they said that they were going to do, then it is okay for you to discontinue doing further things for them. You should not feel bad about not doing something for your family members and friends when they consistently and persistently don’t come through for you. When you make the decision to no longer help them until they help you, this does not prevent you from still loving and supporting them; in fact, you can love them even more.

Although I will not take much time to discuss it here, I encourage you to read about Abraham in the bible, a man who had to leave his family to do the will of God. It is my position that you have to stop being so giving to your family and friends when you never receive anything in return from them. Do you ever have family members and friends who only or mostly call you when they want something? Do you ever have family members and friends who want you to go out of the way for them, but never come through when you ask them for something? It’s time to stop doing stuff for them when this happens. You have to love yourself enough to start distancing yourself away from them—this will help them to understand how selfish they are being. While some people will not agree that this is a proper way of handling family and friends, I will just say that family and friends can be some of the greatest deadbeats sometimes.

Start showing your appreciation for your family members and friends who do things for you. When people devote their time, money, and/or assistance to you, you should let them know how you feel about them, you should do something special for them, and you should do something that they want you to do for them sometimes. When these people stop doing things for you, it’s going to make a significant difference in your lives. If my readers need the courage or some support in their efforts to hold their friends and family members accountable, just contact me and I will help you by giving you advice and support. I made a sincere commitment on yesterday to hold my friends and family members accountable, and I encourage you to do the same. I stand with you!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Passionately Advocate for Someone Besides Yourself

At some point, you should understand that it is important to be a passionate advocate for someone besides yourself. I have found that most of the people in my life only advocate for themselves, including family and friends—even those friends who claim to be so close to me! Most of the people in my life would not be where they are today without me—period! On the rare occasions I need something from the people in my life, I never receive close to the support I provide for them. Although I am a truly controversial figure, this does not mean that you should stray away from passionately advocating for me just to stay in good favor with people—just selfish!

The people in my life are going to have to understand that they are going to be in terrible shape if I decide to no longer help them and advocate for them. People always tell me how much they love me and how much they support me, but I have been shown time and time again that these are just lies. I have to say that Santresa Glass and Jesus have been the only constants in my life. I appreciate and love them both so dearly. I also appreciate my loyal readers—you bring much needed joy in my life.

For some of my family members and “close” friends, you are about to arrive at some serious moments and stages in your life. Now, I want you to imagine what will happen if I decide to no longer support you and be there for you.

I am truly frustrated with always helping people who always have their hands out, but never take an opportunity to do anything for me. I am trying to be nice about how I am handling this, but I am only human and I am headed toward just getting away from all the pretenders in my life—whether you are a family member or a friend.

If you really love and support me, you would be willing to sacrifice some things for me, including having to lose the favor of some of the people around you. When you think about it, I have lost the favor of many people by the things I have done to support you. I have given so much of myself to helping people, but rarely do I ever get any support and help in return. Just to be clear, I do not help people so that they can help me, but it would seem that when you are in a time of need that people would help you, especially when you have helped them for years.

My brighter days are in the near future, but I may not allow some of the dead weight to accompany me. I have a significant amount of evaluation to do in my life about the people in my life to determine if I’m going to let them continue to be a part of my life. Be sure to passionately advocate for someone in your life besides yourself! Do not provide people with fake advocacy. If you are not going to zealously advocate for them, then do not advocate for them at all.

Have a great remainder of your Sunday!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison