Saturday, January 25, 2014

Generosity...or is it?

I was having a conversation with someone the other night about how there's no such thing as altruism. This led to a conversation about generosity and how while we claim someone is generous, there is always an alterior motive. If a man goes in to rescue a child in a fire, we would say he's a hero; but subconsciously, he is probably thinking how good it is going to make him look or how good he's going to feel saying he saved a life or..the list goes on. But my question is this: do subsconscious thoughts count as non-altruistic? If you're not consciously thinking them, aren't you doing something for an altruistic reason?

Something I really admire are generous people; people who give their time, resources, brainpower, hearts, lives..people who have helped me to be at the point I am today both professionally and personally. How can I say those people weren't generous? They know I can't offer them the same. Or the idea of Pay It Forward. Is that not generosity that is passed onto the next person? I suppose one could argue no since that person knows he/she should do something since someone did it for him/her. It wasn't happenstance generosity. But I've seen people give them wholeselves to something wholeheartedly. Obviously this demonstrates their passion for an issue/organization/person, but to say it's not generous..I can't do.

This is only a mere musing, hardly a post. And hopefully a spark for conversation!

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