Why Altruism and Self-Importance Do Not Mix

A consecutive series of struggles and triumphs, both big and small, comprise the majority of our experience on Earth. As we experience the world through our own eyes, we get to see how hard it sometimes is for those around us. Humans have a distinctive desire to help those less privileged, and to tear down those who take advantage of the less privileged.

Humans however, are not one dimensional. We are sometimes governed by philanthropic desires, and sometimes by selfish ones. We sometimes help and we sometimes hurt, and there has never yet existed a human who’s managed to help many without hurting any. This article exists to encourage you to engage in all forms of altruism. It does not aim to suggest that you rid yourself of your selfish desires, but only that you do not not mix them with your philanthropic ones.


The Existence of Altruism Depends on Vulnerability


When you label yourself a philanthropist under any definition, you label another person or group as being in need of your help. You can’t help someone who doesn’t need help, and you rely on their acceptance of your efforts. Think back at the time you accepted or sought help from somebody. Before doing so, you needed to swallow your perception of yourself needing no help from anyone. You had to accept your vulnerability, your lack of knowledge, or your misfortunes in order to correct the situation at hand with someone else’s aid.

Your altruistic, philanthropic, desires depend on the vulnerability of the people who you want to help. The realm of helping others is a sensitive one. Vulnerable people are to be treated with grace, kindness, and a strict lack of ego. By the mere fact of being on the side of the helper rather than the helpee, you possess the power in that situation. To remind those you’re helping of the power which you hold in such a situation is to make a mistake. You will take advantage of their vulnerability to increase your perceived self image, and will discredit all the work you’re labelled as helpful and altruistic.


Pride Is Negatively Contrasted by Vulnerability


Showing even the smallest instances of pride will stand out like a sore thumb when you’re dealing with the less privileged. In order to successfully help another and keep your reputation intact, be very sensitive to how your words and actions are being perceived by the people you’re helping as well as the people looking on. Make your verbal, cognitive, and physical tendencies soft and subtle. Lose your sense of pride, and be fully lost in the act of improving someone else’s life.

Make those you’re attempting to help feel the same sense of contentment that you do when you wake up to a worriless, clear blue sky. Do not allow yourself to be self congratulatory. Be content in your light of helpfulness shining on the people who you’ve chosen to help. Find joy in them forgetting about their reality of consecutive overcast, thunderous days. Don’t serve to block the rays of positive action you’re shining on the people which you help only to remind them that you’re the person doing it. Allow people to get lost in your aide and kindness without expecting a single thing in return. Become invisible when helping others, and relish in how content being unimportant makes you feel.

Next in line: 

How to Deal With Humans’ Inherent Selfishness

Book Recommendation: 

Mohandas K. Gandhi, Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth

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