Altruism

Altruism

I have been toying with the idea of making donations to funds that help the world….. Noble thought indeed.

However, I have been struck with a realization – I am happy to do the act but very reluctant to write about it. I would appreciate your opinions on whether my thoughts are justified.

Do we help ourselves?
I believe it is more of our ‘savings’ mentality that people expect us to build and save wealth. This might be for our future, followed by buffer for contingencies and if that is achieved, continue building for the future generations to come.

I do get the logic about why we should adhere to these principles. According to me, these guidelines are exactly what they are meant to be – guidelines. Once they take up a shape bigger than being just guidelines and becoming a norm or even worse, a fixation, there is little or no room to live life.

Economic freedom is a great feeling to have. Achieving this should enable one to explore options. This could be in the form of indulgences, following an alternate career path or passion, venturing out into a new business or risky deals or even altruism.

As per our ‘savings’ mentality, every penny out must fetch an ROI. Anything else is a wasted opportunity or a loss. All indulgences are frowned upon and we are branded as a show-off. Business ventures that carry risk are tolerated at best as there is an outside chance of returns.

Altruism scores the least as there is no personal gain. Any wealth that goes down the route of altruism is considered equivalent to wealth down the drains.

Is it just me that feels that our thinking is flawed or is it the norm? How many of you have embraced altruism and what was the reaction you faced when you discussed about this topic?

Keen to know your thoughts.

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2 responses to “Altruism”

  1. Roh says:

    You are correct,it is definitely in our mindset. But I think it is mostly to do with money. If one chooses to volunteer for a cause, help elderly, join a go green group – all these are accepted widely and every parent of a volunteer is proud. On the other hand, when we say we donated some money to a good cause, people start questioning the authenticity of the cause making it really a heartless deed.

    I also feel that people should not stop helping the needy. One of my friends used to say she carried food packets everytime she went shopping in the big city streets, where she was sure to find umpteen number of people begging for money. She gave away food packets to them, some accepted happily and some sweared at her. I somehow love this approach. The method of helping is not what matter, right ?

    Cool post da!

    • If you are really interested in altruistic gestures there is a site givewell.org that can help you make decisions on where to donate money through evaluating various NGO’s on different parameters.

      Also this book – “Doing good better” by Will MacAskill is a gem… Book review coming soon!

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