The Rough Road to the Good Life
Selflessness is Gobal
"War time with all its horrible aspects also has a way of bringing out the good in people what one might call other-centered as opposed to self-centered" (Rough 88)
Humble Yourself or Stumble Yourself
"He spent no time in self pity but on the contrary, he traveled extensively and did much for other people" (Rough 202)
Giving it up for Someone Else
"He kept nothing for himself" (Rough 260)
The definition of selflessness it to have little concern for one's own needs or interests. This quote shows just that. The fact Zam Khan Lian shared everything he had, even if it was little, exemplifies his selfless character. Zam Khan Lian put everyone before himself and this was his nature. The quote explains his entire life and can be used as another definition for selflessness.
Characters to Remember
Selflessness: in the Beginning
Both her parents, especially Phileda's mother, are selfless in their allowing their children to go into this field with possible dangers, little communication, and little medical supplies. They knew it would not be as comfortable as life in America, yet they allowed them to go to better others' lives and pour out their love to others.
Selflessness: in the Middle
The Chin people were also selfless by giving back to Phileda and Franklin. The Chin people built a new house for Phileda and Franklin after the Japanese invasion which destroyed their house and everything in it. They also shared knowledge of plants and use of nature for Franklin to be a better doctor with what was available in the area. The Chin people were welcoming to Phileda and Franklin, and also caught the contagious action of selflessness.
Selflessness: in the End
The main cause for the theme within the novel is the model of living Jesus Christ gave and the fact Christians desire to live like Christ. Phileda and Franklin were Christians and they devoted their lives to be missionaries for Christ to spread His word. This spread to the Chin people, who also became Christians and selfless.
This novel also shows you have to do something to be selfless and work for it.
Many people are self-centered nowadays. The media and everything around tells one to think of himself than others, but this novel says the opposite. This novel was copyrighted in 2000; because this novel was recently written, it shows the opposing views from that of the media. Also it shows the idea of selflessness has not died; rather, it is still valued today.