Altruism

I don’t know if I believe in true altruism.

We help people because it helps us and as long as you’re not hurting anyone or anything, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

We’ve all done thoughtful acts but rarely at the expense of our well being or even our comfort. I mean, why should we? To look like a good person? I’ve met a lot of really good people in my life but I’ve never gotten the impression that they were doing the right thing for the “greater good”. It just seemed like they were “good” people because it felt good to be a good person and that’s how they were rewarded by whomever raised or influenced them.  It wasn’t altruism.

Maybe I’m just a bad person and I don’t get it. I don’t know.

In all fairness, I don’t think it’s anyone’s fault that true altruism doesn’t exist. Our current system doesn’t reward altruistic behavior. Capitalism is not supposed to be a zero sum game, but in all games, there are competitors and those competitors either come out as winners or losers. Are you willing to be a loser for the greater good? Because that’s true altruism.

I’m not religious but I think that’s what our idea of Jesus is, a true altruist. We all think Tim Tebow is the second coming of Jesus but he ain’t. He’s probably a really good guy but the real Jesus is some guy in Oklahoma that takes care of his meth addicted sister’s kids and doesn’t have time for romantic relationships. It’s some guy we don’t know because he doesn’t want to be known. That’s Jesus and that’s true altruism.

I had the idea that mothers were the only true altruists but the more I thought about it, the more I was dissuaded. Sure, mothers perform selfless acts all the time but I think that it’s mostly because of social pressure. I think a lot of moms would leave little Johnny in a basket floating down the river if they had the choice but that’s kind of looked down upon now. Mothers are good to their children because if they’re not, they’ll look bad.

I feel like I’ll revisit these thoughts again one day. Until then, that’s all I have on the subject.

On an unrelated note, “#1 Dad” mugs aren’t for your dad. They’re for you. It’s a chance for you to say, “Hey, I got my dad a mug.” If you really just wanted to give him a mug, it would probably look cooler and not reference the fact that he fathered you.

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