When last have you practiced altruism?
Altruism? Really? “In the midst of a global pandemic,where most are struggling to survive” I hear you asking.
Yes, really, because it contributes more to you and your joy than you may realise.
According to the Webster dictionary, altruism is an unselfish regard for the welfare of others.
Were you aware that for reasons that science and medicine do not understand fully as yet, it appears that those who give of their time and energy to assist others seem to suffer far less from stress and depression, while enjoying many more moments of self satisfaction, pride and a greater capacity for work, along with peace and contentment.
It seems that while we are in the process of giving, helping others unselfishly, our bodies seem to release pain relieving chemicals called endorphins which play a huge role in managing stress and reduce feelings of pain.Henry Drummond wrote that there is no happiness in having or in getting, only in giving; Seneca told us that he who does good to another does good also to himself: and is was Emmerson who reminded us that the greatest gift we could give another was not gold or silver or diamonds, it was the gift of ourselves.
Giving of yourself and your time with no thought of any reward of any kind, not even a thank you.
Hell no most will be screaming, I barely have time for the things I have to do, not a chance that I can be out there giving and helping others without even a thank you.
Yes it’s all A’s today.
Victor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist and holocaust survivor was once asked why he believed he survived the horrendous experience while so many succumbed to the terrible conditions in the concentration camps. He said that he found meaning in giving to others, and that when he was giving he felt less pain, less hunger and less fear.
Now you may be wondering what the hell there could possibly be to give another in a concentration camp.
He gave of his meagre food supplies, however more importantly, he gave smiles where there were none and he gave of his time comforting people filled with fear. Over time he found that those obsessed with food, themselves and simply surviving often passed away well before those who focussed their attention and limited energy on others.
He concluded that giving to others gave your life more meaning and that a life obsessed with self seldom provided long term joy.
Has this pandemic pushed us further into survival mode, one where we believe that scarcity is the new norm, a world in which we need to look after only ourselves at all costs? Could it be that this merely emphasises our societies dramatically increasing rates of loneliness, fear and depression? With masks now hiding peoples sadness even more, are we moving increasingly further away from each other and from our own joy?
Surely our existence has far greater purpose than paying our bills on time and dreaming about a life in which we alone are the star attraction.
One kind word can change a life.
You always have something to give because you always have you, and just incase you didn’t know, you are natures greatest miracle. You are adored beyond measure and you can change lives.