This definition is a quote by Peter Singer. We can think of it as the capitulate to the selfish act of taking the self-centered action of taking care of ourselves first and foremost. We can also think of it as capitulation to the selfish act of not giving a shit about anyone else. The good news is that this is something that we can all learn to do.
How many of us have heard of Peter Singer? We may have heard of his other ideas, but we know he’s a well-known anti-authoritarian. So when he says, “It is not possible to be a self-centered person while also being a good person,” we could use that as a wake-up call.
Well, Peter Singer also has a strong opinion on the subject of the Self. He’s made a lot of arguments in his books that are much like those of the “self-centered” people I’ve mentioned before. He also makes a point of saying that we can’t be good or selfish while also being good and selfish. Those are two mutually exclusive goals, and self-centered people are going to think so and so is self-centered.
I think that this is a problem that most people face in life. We are all self-centered to some extent. As I point out in my book The Science of Optimism, we are all self-centered to some extent, but there is a way to balance this self-centeredness. For that I refer you to the quote above. We are all self-centered, but we need to be aware of it.
We all have a tendency to be self-centered. Even the most self-centered person can find a way to be self-centered at times. I find it fascinating that so few really understand this. The great thing about being self-centered, however, is that it really doesn’t matter. You can be self-centered when you are at your best, but that’s not the same as being self-centered.
Self-centeredness can actually be an advantage. When we are self-centered, we are able to get more things done. We are more likely to accomplish things, we are more likely to get the results we want, and we are more likely to be able to say, “Yes I can do that”. We are more likely to be motivated to achieve our goals.
I thought I already knew how to explain this, so I did this. In the following list, I’ll try to explain the key points so that you can better understand what I’m trying to say and what I’m not.
capitulate is the process of surrendering our will to someone else’s. So when I give up control of my decisions, say yes to things that I don’t really want to, and say no to things that I want to do, it is a capitulation. It allows me to do what I want. But if I do it, I lose ownership of that want.
In short: capitulate means to give up control. In this case, the goal is to give up control of the island and the people on it so that they don’t have to be responsible for all the decisions you make. The thing is, the island itself acts as a sort of self-contained body that decides your decisions, and you’re always free to act as you please.