Distinguishing Between Selfishness and Self-Love
Let us distinguish between selfishness and self-love. Self-love is good and necessary; it makes a man value his own being, keep himself from harm, care for what belongs to him, use his opportunities, provide for his own welfare. He may do all this with perfect regard for justice and goodwill. He must either take care of himself, or be taken care of by others, or perish. Self-love thus saves him from being a burden. But selfishness is self-love carried to that excess which makes one blind to the rights of others and willing to inflict injury upon them to his own supposed advantage.
— Charles G. Ames (1828-1912)