When a child begins to age and grow up their parents being to teach and practice the thought of sharing with their friends and family. Often, the child resents this idea and only wants everything to themselves. However, overtime as the child matures and ages they begin realize it is only right and fair to share. Eventually sharing something becomes second nature as that is what is expected in today’s society. One who doesn’t share things is looked down on by people and thought of as selfish and filled with greed.
It is in one’s nature to be selfish, however, if a person is not taught to share or does not choose to accept the teaching of their parent to do so then, by nature, they will be selfish. People with selfish intentions and ones filled with greed and can be found over all literature and even in personal lives. In the book, Staircase of a Thousand Steps, Faridah exhibits selfish behavior through her jealousy. Harif had been sent away by his village to get a new teacher, in an attempt to kill him.
Though miraculously he his saved by a Bedouin whilst in the desert and he is able to complete his task of getting a new teacher. While on this journey her also meets a woman, Hannan, he instantly decided that she is the one whom he plans to marry. When Harif returns he is met with cheer but, behind all the cheer Faridah is saddened by this new girl, as through their time together she had grown fond of Harif. Eventually, Hannan grows pregnant and Faridah is chosen as their midwife, however, during the delivery the jealousy that had been growing gets the best of her,
The flame flashes violet, then sliver. The room reeks of stinkweed and decay. From between the writhing legs comes a choking sound. I glimpse, a crowning head covered with feathers of hair. “Faridah, please,” the woman on the ground begs. Faridah stiffens. Her head dress slips, revealing blackberry hair turned glossy from crushed rosemary oil. (1-2) Faridah had truly reached her breaking point, her darkest moment. Jealousy had got the best of her and in an attempt to destroy Hannan and Harifs marriage, Faridah planned to kill their baby.
She wanted to have Harif to herself and did not want Hannan there anymore as she felt that she was better for Harif and clearly loved him. This fit of selfish rage nearly cost the life someone who would be so close and dear to her one day. After the birth of Rafa, Faridah began to see that she must accept Hannan and her child. She begins to love and care for the child like it was her own, Hamiton narrates, “Satisfied, she hoists a water jug atop her head, slips head shawl under one arm and blanket under the other.
She climbs to the cave. Just enough time to deliver these supplies, then she must return” (Hamilton 100). Many years later Faridah is seen selflessly helping Rafa in her time of need. She travels back and forth the her refuge supplying and guiding her, as she has run away from her husband. To be associated with her and be harboring her would be a hated crime in the conservative village of Ein Fadr. It is clear through these actions that Faridah was able to change her selfish behavior in favor of a self-less and helpful one.
Much like Faridah, Salim from Slumdog Millionaire exhibited selfish behaviors in many aspects of his short life. Salim even from a younger age was motivated by money and power. He constantly had an hold on his younger brother Jamal and made sure that Jamal never thought himself superior. Unlike many others, Salim never had anyone to teach him to share and grow. At a young age their mother was killed and the two young boys were left to fend for themselves in the vast nation of India. His thirst for power showed early when the boys were brought into a camp used to exploit children’s talents.
He was made into an enforcer of sorts and did not care about the other children only his better take. At one point he did show empathy when he saved his brother from being blinded but, he soon thereafter reverted back to his old ways. Many times when Salim could choose between others well being or his personal gain he would almost always choose his personal gain. This caused him to become distant from everyone close to him and lose sight of what truly mattered. Sadly, Salim never truly saw the error in his ways.
This is apparent by his death, Salim died in a tub filled with money, he died surrounded by something that had been tearing his life apart from the beginning of his life. Once again, however, he showed a glimpse of caring as his death was in an attempt to repair the relationship he had ruined between his brother Jamal and Latika. While Salim did at times show possibilities of change, he never truly did and this cost him his life. Much like the fictional characters previously stated, I also used to exhibit rather selfish behaviors. Through most of my life I did not have true friends.
I used to hang out with many people whom I thought to be my closests friends, my true childhood friends. However, they would never show true friendship in the means of giving up something simply for the benefit of someone close to you. In turn, I would never want to show selflessness towards my closest friends and only looked for my own personal gain. Near the end of my freshman year, however, I met people that changed my life for the better. I met people, Mike, Christian, Hunter, Bailey, I met people that I have bonded with greatly.
With time we grew to know and care for eachother like brothers, sure at times we fought over petty things but it never brought us apart. We remained together even in the roughest times. A bond and friendship like this taught me to do things that did not benefit me in anyway but, benefited those closest to me as that was better than any personal gain. I’m sure with time we may grow apart as any young friends do but, I also feel that I may never share as great of a bond with a group of friends again. No matter what happens I will always value this friendship greatly as it changed me dramatically for the better.