Customer Reviews: The Art of Selfishness
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars27
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on February 8, 1998
When I first saw this book fifteen years ago, the title shocked me and captured my attention. There are plenty of people in your life that want you to live for them. This book shows that if you make the hard decision to live for yourself you invariably end up helping the other people in your life more than if you caved in to their wishes. By taking care of your self, you help those around you to get on with their own lives. If you put yourself in order and live your life like you should, everyone in your life, including yourself, will be much happier.
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on April 17, 1998
The title grabbed me, but the content is with me to this day. Seabury's "Selfishness" is not selfish. He teaches us how to attain and sustain a healthy self-regard despite unfounded accusations by others that we are being selfish. It is one of the finest self-help books I've ever read and I am so sorry that it is now out of print. This one is a "keeper" and deserves many readings. I've bought and given many copies and hope to see a reprint soon.
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on November 20, 2005
My Mother and Father said it the wrong way. They told me to share and not be selfish.
What they should have said is share don't be greedy. Because of the way it was put I have had a negative outlook at the word selfish.
It made my life hard to fulfill, and being raised as a Catholic it was compounded even more. The Catholic Church pushes its impression of the Bible, and is always telling us to give more then we do, to dig deep and give more.
I met a woman in my church; her husband is in the Army Reserves and is serving over seas. She has a small child and is living in a place with holes in the walls and not sure where her next meal is coming from. She gives more then she can afford each week for collection, keeps enough money to light a candle some times. She needs to just keep all the money and take care of her family and herself first. I believe God does not care how much you sacrifice, but how much you believe in him. Self sacrifice is to me a lot like suicide and that is one thing that will definitely keep you out of his grace.
This book helped me to look at the some of the stories that made me think I was selfish, and see them in another light. For example the last days of Christ, after the last supper he went in to the woods and prayed to his Father to give him strength to do what he had to do, instead of what the Apostles wanted of him, spend his last hours with them, By doing what he wanted, and not what they wanted, this gave him the strength to fulfill his destiny. He then gave to us so much more then could have ever been thought of.
People would describe me as the kind of person that would give the shirt off my back for someone I don't even know. This book has shown me this is self destructive and hurts me and the ones I care the most about. I found out taking the shirt off my own back would only weaken me. I should just go get a shirt out of the closet, give it to them, one I don't need, not the one I was wearing. When I take the shirt off my own back, I could get cold and can get sick, then the ones I care about have to give of themselves to help me get better, and the one I gave the shirt to now needs a coat. It is good for me to give but not when it hurts me or the ones I care about.
I have found myself in the past in a relationship for 18 years that was destructive to me, because it was with a taker, and she was greedy and kept taking and only gave back the least amount as possible just to keep me around so I would keep giving to her. Looking back, most of the things she gave me she did not give me at all, she just let me get it myself.
An old saying is when you smile the whole world smiles with you, what a wonderful gift, a smile. This book has helped me to see something, the only way to smile is from the inside out; the only to do that is to remember I am the most important person on this earth. If I want to give to the ones I love I have to have something to give.
I hope you will get out of this book as I did. If so and it helps you to start being happy, then when you are done give it to someone you care about we all know someone like me and hope they can start being happy inside of themselves, by keeping what they deserve, not giving it all away.
I have learned it is not all about just giving, but sharing, sharing is taking too. I had a relationship with a giver, a wonderful person; I believe I messed some things up by not knowing how to receive, except gifts, take.
So for me I believe life is give and take, balance. I am going try taking, as well as giving, but keep enough for myself, hope I never get greedy, and to keep the takers out of my life, I want to be happy too.
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on July 12, 2004
This book has sat on my Dad's bedside table for many years. I can always remember seeing it. My Dad is now 77 years old. It travelled with him from the UK to Jamaica, where he and my mum has returned home and retired. He kept money, reciepts, papers etc in this book. I was visiting my parents over the weekend and wanted something to read, I asked him if I could read it. I have read Susan Jeffers and Iyanla Vanzant and many others, but this book is brilliant. As old has it is it, it has not dated in my opinion. The concerns that one had when this book was written has not dated. I said to my Dad I could not have read and understood this book if I did not have some life experiences of my own. It is a very deep and profound book
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on April 10, 2011
I came upon this title about 20 years ago in a used bookstore. The title was at first something I was annoyed at and picked it up to judge with a sneer....I did 'book roulette'...opened to a page, scanned, and again...and it slowly dawned on me, this seeming ancient text (my copy is 1933) is brilliant...It is a treatise..."TAKE care of yourself...and the rest will fall into its correct place."

The book is a helper to guide you towards more harmony in relationships...more serenity and realization that you too are important and the foundation for your life, your choices and relationships depends upon how well you build and maintain your base values and actions and care of self.

It's not a mere 'read and put away' a good book of encouragement or meditative reads, it's one that now and then, you'll turn to and learn anew...worth the addition to any soul's shelf.

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on June 8, 2002
My husband and I both read this book in the 1960s. We lent it out and it was never returned. Obviously we didn't learn everything from this book, but it definitely changed our attitudes in interacting with family and friends. We have had a good life, making ever good decisions for ourselves and family. We feel our happiness is due in large part to the guidelines we learned from this book. In fact, spending time renewing ourselves has added to our interaction with our both young and now grown children. We hope we have been able to pass along these values to them.
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on July 22, 2015
This is one of the BEST Self-Help books ever printed. I had a copy many years ago, but it got lost when someone moved me; however I was so happy like it was a holiday to receive this book again. It can help you recognize your weaknesses which have caused you difficulties in your life, and give you a positive way to develop better habits and love yourself. When you begin to apply Dr. David Seabury's teaching you will become more fulfilled and happier with your life. The book arrived well ahead of time in great condition.
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on May 10, 2013
I read this book over 20 years ago and it has helped me understand human relations more than any other book. I just bought four of these used books to give to people who I hope will benefit from it as much as I did. When I re-read the book recently, I realized that I had been quoting things from it that I no longer attributed to the book, because it had become so much a part of my life that I didn't remember where or when I learned it.
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on June 16, 2005
Profound! A pearl of wisdom outlining strategies for managing external negative influence. It provides a strategy for improving your life through a knowledge of self.
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on February 26, 2014
I have found this a "go to" book to be reread from time to time. I always seem to give my copy away thus ordering the second hand copies. For as old as this book is there is much wisdom to be had in understandable language.
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