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Life Lesson: Interpreting Quotes

I’ve been lazy for these past months. If it wasn’t for a sudden realization while lying on my bed today, this post would probably take another month to write.

As the May 1st deadline of submitting the Statement of Intent to Register approaches, Carson is still confused as to where to spend his next four years. Many people including me have been pressuring him to go different universities. A few moments ago, Carson quoted from a book “Would Moses have led the slaves out of Egypt if he had a taken a poll?” My immediate response was a genuine “wow that’s true, Moses did something ultimately good for the Israelites by deciding for them, not with them.” However, as I ponder upon the relationship between the Moses example and Carson’s college dilemma, the quote become less and less applicable.
It is true that Moses made the right decision and saved a group of people’s fate without their opinion. Carson’s situation is vastly different. Consider the fact that Moses was adopted into the royal family. He could have stayed in the rich family and ate great food all his life. Instead, he chose to flee to free the slaves. Diagnosing Moses’s mindset, I find that he freed the slaves because he felt it was the right thing to do. Moral values aside, Moses’s personal benefit of fleeing meant being the ruler of another great kingdom. He probably also knew that by doing so, he would go down in history as one of the selfless saints.
This is when media and politics come and color everything up. People under their influence came to believe that Moses did so because he was a good man who desired to save the lives of others, as if that was his only purpose in life. The author of the quote probably thinks the same. I must refute his belief and tell him that Moses, like every person who once lived, had selfish interests too.
One should make a choice based on his/her self-interest.  It is okay if one’s self-interest coincidentally is also the general consensus. As Adam Smith’s invisible hand theory states, “An individual pursuing his own self-interest tends to also promote the good of his community as a whole”.

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