September 24, 2009

Atlas Shrugged of Unknown Selfishness

"Linno thinks of the time she taught Anju how to swim by a stone footbridge that spanned the Meenachil. Anju clung to her like moss to stone, hands fastened about her neck as small silver flecks of poonjan fish went slipping around them. Anju's watery weightlessness, her primal need stripped of pride, these made Linno feel strong and loved in ways she would never admit aloud. 'Don't let me go!' Anju begged, over and over. And though Linno laughed to reassure her sister, she answered without a trace of teasing to her voice: 'No, never.'"
--Atlas of Unknowns, Tania James
It seems to me that human relationships can be founded on our worst and most pathetic fears, out of the abrupt instances when we are reminded of how weak and helpless we would be if left to cope with this world alone. I don't know if that's a reassuring thought or not, but I do know that everything we do is in some way selfish, and there's no point in pretending that things would necessarily be better otherwise. Almost 99 percent positive that Ayn Rand would have backed me up on this. In much more eloquent language.

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