Save this for later viewing/reading:
At lunch with the other executives the othe day, we were sitting around after finishing our food for a few minutes discussing some work issues. However, the issues sort of diverted onto a tangent about “doing things for the sake of one’s needs.” So, I asked something that I’ve thought numerous times in life: “Do people who help others actually do it for themselves? …or for the others?” What do you think?
Of course we should probably just leave it at “helping others” and be happy with that, but do you ever question your motives? Do you question other peoples’ motives? I think we do a lot of the latter. Now I know personally that I do get satisfaction out of helping others. However, over time, I’ve also found that helping the ungrateful bothers me. Helping people who tend to not change or improve their lives due to the help also circumvents my desire to do more of it for people who are like this. As I’ve mentioned in the 25 things about me post earlier, my ultimate dream in life was to help people — it was to make others smile and hopefully make this world a better place. Over time (35+ years), I’ve found that actually that I have less desire to help folks. I feel like all the time and effort is wasted and in many cases basically “thrown away” or I get the feel that people are VERY ungrateful.
So, is it simply I’ve grown cynical? Is it that I am really selfish in wanting to be selfless? I guess I’ve figured it’s at least good that I do want to help people and so in sum, I guess I’m happy to at least have that desire and that even if it is a selfish desire to want to help people, it’s a good thing. Perhaps it’s just an o.k. thing to be selfish in at times and that the negative connotations that come with it are actually just generalized. I guess selfishness can also have good forms like the oxymoron: selfish volunteers? 🙂