If You Really Care, Be Selfish

by Al Smith

 guest blog post by John Falchetto


If You Really Care, Be Selfish

Do you really want to CARE? Be selfish. CARE, is a simple word and one we forget, too often. It’s not easy to care. That’s true. Why do we not care anymore? We weren’t born not caring. Nancy Davis reminded us earlier this month that it’s mostly a matter of trust. When we care about someone or something we become vulnerable and expose ourselves to deception and pain. We have all been hurt by someone in our lives. Some of us are still living in pain.

So why CARE?

A year ago I read an article about Jerry McLard, a 65 years-old homeless man.  I printed out the story and pinned it to my cork board. The exceptional thing about Mr. McLard is that although he is homeless, he gave $2,500 to three different charities.  This is a lesson we should remind ourselves, and not only as we approach Christmas.  As we grow relationships online and our world becomes smaller thanks to social media and other tools, we grow disconnected from what really matters.  Forget the discussions about trivial social media tools.  That’s not what really matters.  There is one person you really care about.

Start CARING for yourself

I have seen lives destroyed by artificial paradises, beautiful relationships disintegrate into dark places and all because of one reason, each person didn’t care enough about themselves. You are thinking I am asking you to be selfish?  Not at all, quite the opposite to be selfless you need to be open to taking and accept the help of others.  Nobody can live selflessly without being selfish and be open to other people’s caring attitude and kindness.  Allowing others to be happy by gratifying their helping hand isn’t selfishness.  It’s ok to ask for help.  When McLard was sick he turned to the free clinic he just donated to for help.  It would have been move selfish for him to suffer in silence or stand on pride that it would be to ask for help.  Have more fun, be happier, it sounds selfish but by working to make yourself happier you will be far better equipped to make other people happy.  Start by caring for yourself and extend it to others.





John Falchetto is a dad; entrepreneur and business coach obsessed with helping others find their unique path in life and business.   He is a Canadian expat living in the south of France. 



{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Kaarina Dillabough November 21, 2011 at 9:31 am

If you don’t care for yourself, you can’t care for others. That’s why on an airplane they say that, if the oxygen masks drop down, put yours on first, then help others. Loving and caring for oneself is the most generous thing we can do, because it positively affects those around us. And as far as asking for help…strong people ask for help when they need it, and accept it with gratitude. From one Canuck to another:) Cheers! Kaarina
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Craig McBreen November 21, 2011 at 10:13 am

That story about Jerry McClard is pretty amazing, really. I mean, talk about selfless, but he really did give back to people he thought helped him and that was his little payback. Nice how that works and a very interesting take on how being selfless does mean being open to the help of others.

Certainly agree that if you don’t care for yourself, you’ll be ill prepared to reach out to others, or even truly care for your family.

It is very tough for some people to accept help. True. I was like this, thinking that I was a burden, but it is a bit selfish to hold things inside like that. You just become miserable in the process and who does that help? Reaching out for a bit of help can make you a happier, more fulfilled person, someone more prepared to help others.

Nice post, John. Good to see you at Al’s place!
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Al Smith November 21, 2011 at 11:01 am

Love this post John. And the title. It gets you thinking. For sure. Really appreciate you taking the time out of your bust schedule to be a guest here at The CARE Movement. You help so many people with all you do, say and write. you make some great points here. Take CARE of yourself. First. And not only ask for help, but accept the help when it’s offered. Asking for help has never been easy for me. Something i continue to work on.

Your last line sums it up, John. “Start by caring for yourself and extend it to others”.

Thanks again, my friend. Take CARE.



Ali November 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Love this, John, and couldn’t agree more. When we treat ourselves bad or worry about everything else except our own well-being we aren’t doing anyone any favors. I wrote about this not too long ago in a post, basically saying the same thing: taking care of yourself is 100% not selfish – it allows us to be the best version of ourselves to the rest of the world. Sometimes our state of mind needs a good “Spring Cleaning” :)

That is an amazing story about the homeless man…
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Jack @ TheJackB November 21, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Have to agree that there is a lot of merit in being more selfish. If you don’t find a way to scratch that itch that we call self interest you are likely to end up in a darker place.
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Lori Gosselin November 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm

I’m with you John. If we don’t care for ourselves, what do we have to give to anyone else? How can we add to the sum total of happiness in the world if we’re not happy?
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Nancy Davis November 21, 2011 at 9:05 pm


This post is pure genius. We must take care of ourselves or else we cannot care for others. This is why people who are caring for a sick family member often need to take breaks. They cannot be present for another without taking time out for themselves. I had to do this even when I cared for my dad.

It is not selfish to put your needs first. It is normal and healthy. If I am not in my right mind, I can’t very well help anyone else.

Thanks for being such an inspiration to me and to others John!
Nancy Davis recently posted..Can’t Pay My Rent


Barbara Klein November 22, 2011 at 5:38 am

Right on, John!
Even as a child I thought it a peculiar concept, a martyr like syndrome of first caring for others before caring for yourself. And I remember these sour looking nurses with purpose written all over their faces! And no place for love, duty first!
Al, I wanted to do that for a long time: we should rewrite COGITO ERGO SUM and make it: I CARE THEREFORE I AM!


Emilia November 22, 2011 at 5:58 am

You nailed it, John! :) If you start caring about yourself (even in a selfish way), you’ll be happier and more balanced and you are going to be able to care about others too. I lover this writing of your, you are using these words “love”, “care”, “selfish” in a very good, professional way. Yay!
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Emilia November 22, 2011 at 5:59 am

You nailed it, John! :) If you start caring about yourself (even in a selfish way), you’ll be happier and more balanced and you are going to be able to care about others too. I lover this writing of your, you are using these words “love”, “care”, “selfish” in a very good, professional way. Yay for you!
Emilia recently posted..When it all comes to dental implants uk…


John Falchetto November 23, 2011 at 5:15 am

Hi Al,

Thanks for sharing your platform, it was great :)
To Self-Care !
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Claudia November 26, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Hi John…you are so right…we are nothing to others if we aren’t something to ourselves. And, it goes far beyond the emotional plane. It encompasses total well being so, if you are not caring for your physical health as well as your emotional health, you will be no good to those that you love around you when you are unwell. It is indeed a selfless act to make sure that you are healthy and at peace with yourself so that you are better able to be there for others…to CARE. Thank you for a wonderful post John!
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