I jokingly refer to this in my own life as selfish selflessness. If you’re not familiar with being of service to others or volunteering, you get so much more benefit out of it than you would imagine. It seems to me, through my experiences, that humans are born with a tendency toward benevolence and goodness. I’m not just spouting off my own hippy dippy philosophy though, Charles Darwin argues in The Descent Of Man that “the attributes at the very core of human nature, include our social instincts, sympathy, caring for others, and delight in the welfare of others…”
That last bit was from a book called The Art Of Happiness In A Troubled World. So, it’s not straight from Charles Darwin, but it was comparing his beliefs side by side with the benevolent humanity that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has made a case for over and over again.
It also reminds me of what I said in yesterday’s post about healthy balanced people wanting to see other people succeed not fail.
All the other stuff that we think makes up humanity, the negative crap, like hate, greed, envy, selfishness, bigotry, racism, violence, murder, genocide, evil, etc. all are minutely layered versions of fear and survival based reactions to our environments, which our ego/brain perceives as harsh, dangerous or selfish. If you disagree, let me know.
I’m more interested in talking about why you should help someone in need at least once a week, WITHOUT any ulterior motives or expectation of getting something in return.
Whether it’s a stranger or someone close to you, you should help someone at least once a week for yourself. The amazing positive benefits you get back by really helping someone, even with something small, could take you less than 5 minutes, and come back multiple times for your own self-worth and positive self-image and confidence. See? Selfish Selflessness…okay so I guess you do get something in return no matter what you do, but that’s just the cynic inside me making sure that I’m not being too subjective about my own altruism and benevolence. I wouldn’t want to get a big head or anything.
Feel down, sad, or just in the dumps of despair?
- Hold a door open for someone.
- See if you can get someone else to smile.
- Buy the person in line behind you a coffee.
- Buy a flower and give it to a stranger.
- Take 10 minutes and write a quick guide to help your parents understand some kind of technology that you’ve been scoffing at them for not having mastered yet.
- Call someone you haven’t talked to in over a month, and just ask them how their day/week is going and let them really give you the whole story. Don’t talk, just listen.
- Add your helpful deed here.
Just like I said in my last post, it’s just a suggestion, but it’s one that I’ve gotten many times, and it has not failed me yet. So, give it a try.
#helpingothers #service #selfishselflessness #volunteer #DalaiLama #Darwin #Humanity