Life lessons

Helping Hands

How many of us are altruistic?

Altruism is when you do something good for another person without expecting anything in return.

I would like to rephrase my initial question: How many of us are really and truly altruistic?

I remember some years ago thinking I was altruistic. But then, I realised, I tend to do good things/nice things for others with the underlying belief that what goes around, comes around.

In other words, I think at some level, I believe that something good will happen to me in future if I do something good. And just for that, I don’t think my actions were altruistic since I expected some outcome. I expected something back, albeit not immediately nor from the person I was giving something ‘good’ to.

Having given that example, I would like to know:

Have you ever done anything truly altruistic?

If so, do share.

It’s the season to be feeling good, and something like that will bring a smile.

Until next time,


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  • Cuckoo
    December 20, 2008 at 7:19 am

    Yes, I am. If not full time, at least a part-time.

    Read this.

    I very regularly do these little acts which keep a contented smile on my face.

    P.S.- Can you pls enable the Name/URL option for commenting ? This blogger id will take you to my old blog.

  • Jessica
    December 20, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    I like to give to charity, it leaves me with a nice feeling. But you’re right, I guess subconsciously, I would assume people would do the same for me if I was in a desperate situation.

  • Joel
    December 20, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    grrr … now u have changed my perception of Altruism 🙁 .. i used to think i was … but if its the way u put it maybe i am not ..

    my motivation to do good .. is that .. (shamelessly) .. i want others to be good to me (who doesn’t ?).. some one once said .. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!” .. guess that doesn’t make me altruistic now does it .. mmm .. maybe it just makes me .. ‘good’ ??

    the boundaries are too blurry to examine correctly .. but then again .. i think no one can be altruistic by ur definition .. everyone derives ‘something’ out of it .. other wise why do it at all .. for me its the hope that good will happen to me .. for others it might just be making their day .. everyone has a motive .. its what drives us as human beings .. but at the end of the day u did bring joy to someone else’s life .. or at least u did to ur own life in some tiny way 🙂 or am i just letting ‘the end justify the means’

  • Psych Babbler
    December 20, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    Hehe…I didn’t mean to disappoint anyone. At the end of the day, I think if you do a good deed for someone, with or without expectations, it has made someone’s day. But I raised this point because I remember thinking that no one can be truly altruistic as somehow we expect something — whether it is karma or just happiness by doing something good. 🙂 That’s me tho — taking things very literally!

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