Selfishness in our society of today has been wrongly associated with thinking totally about oneself and one's advancement, happiness, success, etc at the expense of others. This is a type of selfishness I will like to call narcissism.
However, there is another part of selfishness,that alternatively means placing yourself first as a way to increase your capacities and capabilities to help others around you.
The world is full of so many troubles of pollution, crime, political corruption, poverty, etc that so many of us have actually seen the need to lay down our self to correct if not cure some of these world sicknesses. However, there is not much that we can do if we don't focus on our personal life, skills, development, and growth first as a way to increase our capabilities and capacities to be effective for a long term.
There is not so much you can do to correct political corruption if you have not taken the time to thoroughly study the area of politics in-depth. As much as you want to contribute positively you also have to learn the necessary things and information needed to succeed in your attempt to be relevant in this society of ours.
You can't be willing to contribute financially to the needy if you are in need of money yourself. You don't necessarily have to be the richest man in the world to be there for others but you need to at least have attained some level of financial security; this probably is why so many people end up being narcissistic as different from their initial attempt to help the world. They realize that they are in so much need of what they want to help others with, so they satisfy their benefits first before the people they journeyed out to represent and to help or assist.
The world needs more people to develop their skills, talents, and life first to a level that increases their chances of helping the world around them. IT'S GOOD TO WANT TO HELP, BUT HELP LONG TERM AND NOT SHORT TERM; THIS STARTS BY HELPING YOURSELF FIRST BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS AROUND YOU.