A word that is not commonly utilized in our cultures limited vocabulary.
You don’t often hear teenagers on the street say, “Hey, you know T-Dawg? Yeah, he can’t make it to the party tonight because he’s busy being altruistic.”
The idea of altruism is popular in movies, books, plays or throughout the internet. Unfortunately, applying the idea is not so popular with the masses.
For generations the idea of the sacrifice of the few for the good of the many has been idolized. That is, after all, the premise behind numerous hero’s, fictional and realistic alike. Though from day to day, the term “dog eat dog world” seems to motivate people in how they treat those they encounter and interact with.
Sad that it’s not implemented as much as it’s worshiped.
I watched a video recently on the interwebs about a musician who was talking about couch surfing, free music, begging for money on a street corner, etc. It was amazing to me how her idea’s seemed so simple and bizarre.
The experiences she had not only impacted her life directly, but also the lives of the people that were offering her a place to sleep, food, or money.
If one out of five people were to ask for help, assist others who needed help, or gave to someone who didn’t even ask for something, what kind of world would we be living in?
In my personal opinion, this is why I encourage and support religion of any kind. Almost every single faith practiced by mankind teaches that a person should do good for other people, without a selfish heart. Religion is the hand basket handed down from generation to generation as a means to keep all morals and beneficial teachings in.
But altruism… that’s a hand basket within itself. Luke 6:27-36 says:
Love for Enemies
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
What kind of revolution would the world go through if only ONE out of FIVE people actually practiced this on a daily bases? How easy would it be for us to do this, when everyone else in our community were doing this also?
Really, that’s not even the deepest part of my idea…
When I was growing up, my family and I were rather poor. My dad would hunt so we had food during the winter and my mother planted a huge garden so we would have vegetables to eat.
When the crop came in or my dad bagged multiple deer, my parents would save back as much as my family would need and then we would go door to door through the community and ask if anyone needed some.
I was lucky enough to grow up in a community, a real one.
When I was in need of a car, my friends gave me their extra car without any expectations of how I might pay them back in the future.
These are all examples of altruism at work within a community of human beings.
What’s amazing about a true altruistic community is that I’m not scared that I’ll ever be taken advantage of by my friends.
For example: when I was growing up, my family always had vegetables or deer, our friends always kept cows and would supply us with fresh milk; my grandparents always had fire wood and the ladies of our community always made blankets or hand made goods.
Always have something to give, never be afraid to receive, but never take with selfish intentions or give with a selfish heart.
2 Corinthians 9:6-9
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”
How easy is it to actually apply this in our society today? Kinda hard…
How easy would it be for us to change that stigma of selfishness and proud wills? Not that hard at all.
It’s not impossible, it’s actually rather revolutionary.
I, for one, would rather live in an altruistic community of humans than a selfish individualistic gathering of random beings.
Let’s think bigger.