the ability or propensity to put aside or deprioritize concerns for the self in favor of stronger claims

a.k.a. abnegation, self-sacrifice

Complementary virtues

Contrasting vices

  • selfishness
  • self-centeredness

Virtues possibly in tension

How to acquire or strengthen it


Notes and links

Mentioned elsewhere


Inspirational quotes

  • “…a state of mind in which he could design the best cathedral in the world, and know it to be the best, and rejoice in the fact, without being any more (or less) or otherwise glad at having done it than he would be if it had been done by another. …so free from any bias in his own favour that he can rejoice in his own talents as frankly and gratefully as in his neighbour’s talents—or in a sunrise, an elephant, or a waterfall.” ―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
  • “Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man forgets himself into immortality.” —MLK, Jr.
  • “In order to be successful in any kind of undertaking, I think the main thing is for one to grow to the point where he completely forgets himself; that is, to lose himself in a great cause. In proportion as one loses himself in this way, in the same degree does he get the highest happiness out of his work.” – Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery