Selfishness Vs Selflessness

I never really watched ‘Survivor’ until I came across the recent episodes on the tube. I think I finally found out what’s so intriguing about the series. The rules of the game are paradoxical – one is expected to be a team-player for group challenges – but not really for the team’s benefit, because ultimately, there is only one individual winner. There is both selflessness and selfishness expected.

This contradicting tension which the players grapple with is interesting. Even a good team-player or leader who helps an individual’s team survival can be deemed dangerous due to his or her skills and popularity! The most helpful team player is thus also the most threatening, who is thus possibly voted out instead of retained. Bizarre, isn’t it? The Bodhisattva path is based on opposite motivations. It is survival and even sacrifice of oneself to better help the survival; not elimination, of others.

The paradox comes full circle at the end with a sense of retribution. From Wikipedia, ‘The last two or three survivors face a jury historically comprising of at least the last seven players voted off. That jury interrogates the final few, and then votes for the winner of the title of Sole Survivor and a million dollar prize.’ As such, in the end, the game doesn’t exactly promote selfishness or selflessness – but a ‘reasonable’ mix of the duo? Is this possible beyond the game, such that it leads to True Happiness? I don’t think so – which is why enlightenment requires realisation of selflessness in full.

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