What is Disinterestedness?
Dictionary.com states that it is one who is “unbiased by personal interest or advantage; not influenced by selfish motives.” Such a person demonstrates true impartiality.
While dictionaries will claim that this word also has the same acceptations as uninterestedness, the older usage of this word and the Biblical concept never have to do with a lack of interest. Being uninterested in others and their situations is a subtle form of contempt.
Advantages of Being Disinterested
The main advantage of being disinterested is so that another can benefit from the disinterested person’s perspective and/or actions of justice and propriety.
Anyone having an interest in an outcome will tend to answer, advise or act in a way that will gravitate toward that outcome even if that outcome is not for the best for others or self.
One who practices disinterestedness will guide another or others to a proper outcome even if that outcome is not to the advantage of the disinterested person. A disinterested person has more investment in justice and propriety than in any advantage.
One person usually demonstrates disinterestedness with another person or persons, and not with self.
Disinterestedness kills all forms of self-esteem (high, low or normal). Every form of self-esteem is automatically an antagonist against humility, and is pride—and cannot be otherwise.
Low self-esteem is pride. A person with low self-esteem feels less responsibility and a greater freedom to place blame. This person feels special in a low way. The focus on self is always detrimental. Some with very low self-esteem opt for suicide, intentionally determining to destroy the image of God (though perhaps not thinking of this). Low self-esteem corresponds to low self-worth. No person is able to gauge his or her value with any accuracy. Thus, a person who claims to be able to do so is taking upon himself a characteristic permitted only to a god. That is arrogance.
High self-esteem is pride. A person with high self-esteem feels great ability to take on personal power, and feels little responsibility for damage to others. The focus on self is always detrimental. Some with very high self-esteem are cruel and even murderers, intentionally determining to destroy the image of God in others. High self-esteem corresponds to high self-worth. No person is able to gauge his or her value with any accuracy. Thus, a person who claims to be able to do so is taking upon himself a characteristic permitted only to a god. That is arrogance.
Normal self-esteem is pride. A person with normal self-esteem will view self in comparison to others. The focus on self is always detrimental. Some with normal self-esteem are inconsistently cruel and cold or kind and warm, rarely thinking in terms of responsibility and often thinking of advantage. Normal self-esteem corresponds to normal self-worth. No person is able to gauge his or her value with any accuracy. Thus, a person who claims to be able to do so is taking upon himself a characteristic permitted only to a god. That is arrogance.
The only proper esteem is directed to others:
Philippians 2:3 Nothing is through strife or vainglory. But each shall esteem another better than themselves in lowliness of mind.
A person practicing true disinterestedness will not be driven or controlled by destructive bitterness.
The best diplomats must always prove disinterested in diplomacy, since the interest of the diplomat cannot interfere with the outcome. A diplomat who falters in diplomacy will be a diplomat who has a personal interest in an outcome.
Joseph in Genesis proved to be a truly disinterested slave and brother. He saved many lives. His brother Judah proved to be the opposite, having personal interests in outcomes. Having a personal interest in an outcome is the first step in justifying corruption and in overthrowing justice. Free Masonry is built on personal interest. It is an association dedicated to rescuing each other from proper justice if the situation arises.
How does disinterestedness affect the way the disinterested person sees relationships, situations and responses? A disinterested person will value relationships with a value that is at least as great as those with personal interests, and likely even more. That person will see relationships in a way that isn’t centered on feelings, but rather on benefit, on liability, on considering more carefully the symptoms of good behaviour and bad. Intentional disinterestedness almost demands that a person focus on the details of what is occurring in a relationship and how that relationship is affecting others. Cause and effect become very important, and the outcome is very important even though the person will intentionally not sway the outcome for personal interest.
While many may see the benefit of being candid and open in a relationship, a disinterested person will consider whether candidness and direct openness is truly the best for justice, propriety, and for the relationships. That doesn’t mean that a disinterested person doesn’t speak his or her mind, but rather considers benefit, often in a manner that appears fearless. Daniel spoke disinterestedly to Nebuchadnezzar in a way that others would have been terrified to express. Daniel was not interested in his own aggrandizement. He was interested in benefit to the king.