Saturday, 13 October 2007

Altruism

Gyani Triviani propounded:

"What use is the flame, whilst the candle lies dead..."


I often marvel at the fact that there are people who still claim that people now are selfish, that people care mainly for themselves and don't care about the society or anyone outside their circles, themselves and their family being the centre of the care... I was just talking to my friends, and then some other people - I asked them one simple question: "Assume two people are marooned on an island, your friend being one of them, and the other being a stranger. Given that you can save only one between the two, whom would you choose to save?"

The question is quite straight forward, but the answers are quite mixed. Most of them, I don't know if it was because of their feelings that they were being judged or otherwise, told me that they would rather save the stranger, instead of their friend - And why? That's because they are selfless, that they put their own selfish desires behind them, and would choose to select the stranger... Some said they would save the stranger and come back to save this friend, or die with him/her. Well, I surely would not like to be this marooned friend. I don't know if these people are truly so selfless. So, I made it a little more interesting, and asked them - "What if one was your mother/father/sibling and other stranger?" This time the answers were pretty much different. Most of them chose to pick their family.

If you look at the whole exercise more realistically, practically and logically, most of them in real life would choose to save their friend, even in the first case - Because of the sense of belonging. It's not that a person is being selfish by doing that... It's only human - and people want to show they are above normal humans by saving the stranger. It's always better to be honest than to show yourself to be a selfless martyr. It's always natural for someone to secure his/her position before helping someone else. Gone are the days when you give up something for someone else, suffering - Although there's still hope, not all peopple are selfish, but in today's world, where people dig at the softest place, there are a large number who would take undue advantage of your sweet nature. If you give up yourself for some principle, one thing you need to remember is that you won't be there to help others out. So, only if you NEED to become a martyr, go ahead...

Always try to obtain win-win situations. Only in the worst case scenario should you choose to do the unthinkable.

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