“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now — when?”
— Rabbi Hillel
I love this quote, which has been my email sig line for a few months now. I feel like it expresses nicely and succinctly the importance of a balanced between, on the one hand, self-love and taking care of oneself, and, on the other, love of others, generosity, and connection. The quote also illustrates a balance of being present in the now and getting going today on what is really important. I think that the quote helps show how selfishness/unselfishness is a false dichotomy, a false tension, because we help ourselves by caring for our relationships and communities and being generous, but we can’t truly give to another unless we care for and respect ourselves in the process. Ultimately, the two merge.