I completely and totally disagree.
Not all people are self serving in everything
that they do. Not everyone
does everything only for what they can get out of it. Maybe true
for some, but not all
, and not all the time
. When I give
someone a present it is for them
and not for what I can get in return. When someone on the sidewalk asks me for some change for a bite to eat
, I do not give them money or food questioning what they will be able to do for me. I guess it can be argued that the mere happiness
in getting a gift in turn makes the gift giver happy. Many people have used this argument to demonstrate
to me how no one really ever does things for anyone but themselves and that even other peoples happiness is only important
to people in relation to how it affects their own happiness. I think this is utter hogwash
. My happiness in other people's joy is a side effect
of theirs, not a reason for it. And think of it conversely.. do you feel sad
when you hear about horrible
things that have happened to complete stranger
s? Does it upset you when you witness
suffering? If so, does that sadness only come when their misfortune
somehow takes some thing away from you, or do you feel emotion totally for the other person without thinking of any detrimental
effects their suffering has upon you.
I have a friend who died recently. I went to his funeral
yesterday. Everyone there who spoke talked of how much he gave
to people; how he share
d without a thought as to what he'd get out of it.
One day, he was walking down the street. A woman saw him and loved the shirt
he was wearing. She commented to him on how beautiful
it was. He took it off and gave it to her to keep.
Another time, he had been gambling in Nevada
and winning a lot of money. A seedy
woman attached herself to him when she saw all the cash
he was winning. She proceeded to tell her all of her woes
; all her life problems. She obviously wanted some money
. Instead of shaking her off, he talk
ed with her. He listen
ed to everything she had to say. He was supposed to meet friends later for dinner and he brought this woman with him. He bought her food. Even as she was trying to scam
some cash, even as she was trying to take advantage
of him, he was there for her and he listened to every word she said, without a thought as to what benefit he could derive from it. She needed someone to care
. And he did.
And I don't think things like these are rare
occurences. I do not think things like these happen only 1%
of the time. I think things like these are how we all can be, and how we should
try to be every day. I think we can honor each other and treat each other well, regardless of what we get out of it.