Zayna asked:

How much effort does one put into the self and how much into society?

Answer by Eric George

I think this has to do a lot with whether or not you see yourself as being a part of society, or that society is a part of you, do I base my existence on my own success? or by the help that has come from other people (society) which has aided in my success?. More than that, how you respond to the importance of yourself or society is in great part determined by your view of how you came to be so successful. A contrast would be between say cliche’ western society, where the emphasis is based upon the individual and say, traditional Hindu caste-system society where the individual is not important rather the relationship between individuals within the collective is of the utmost importance. It could be said that striving to better yourself within the realm of society is in a way bettering society in general since you are within society. By what are you efforts motivated by, and to which allegiance does your efforts focus towards, your own individual life or the lives of other as well within society.

Like most things, a maintained balance is the best way to approach this and go about it – that stressing emphasis on your own existence and efforts to improve your success within in your own existence is perfectly fine, but then to also understand that there are people within society who are not as successful as yourself by comparison, despite maybe their own equally robust motivations and efforts. And that sometimes it all depends ultimately on the ‘luck of the draw’, do not let the powerful shadow you cast, keep people in the dark. Endeavor to help others, while helping yourself first. That primacy of oneself does not have to necessitate the shunning of society as less important to place effort into the former as well as the latter.