Is an altruist always an absolutely disinterested person?
An altruist is a person who commits acts for the benefit of other people, perhaps at the cost of his own expenses, and at the same time does not consciously associate them with selfish interests. A person endowed with such qualities avoids the witnesses of his nobility and does not expect any benefits for himself or even gratitude.
All the great humanistic teachings and classical literature preach altruism as the highest value in human relationships and a role model. Is it so? How realistic is the existence of an altruist in its pure form in modern society?
As the qualities of the altruist manifest in public relations
If you follow the theory of social exchange, then the basis of all human relations is a kind of silent contract, an agreement aimed at eventually increasing remuneration and reducing the costs of each.From this point of view, altruism can also be interpreted as an interaction that occurs according to the mentioned scenario, but in this case the exchange does not occur in goods, money or other benefits, but in love, status, information, etc.
And this does not mean at all that an altruist is a person who is still counting on a reward. Though it is expressed by feelings that are selfish to some extent - by diminishing feelings of guilt, by increasing self-respect or by feeling satisfied that someone has been helped, it continues to be assessed by others as selflessness.
Are egoists and altruists always opposites?
Most often, in our understanding, the egoist and the altruist stand on opposite sides of the barricades. After all, an egoist is a vector directed at himself, at satisfying his own needs, sometimes even to the detriment of the interests of those around him, while it is first of all important for the altruist to help those around him.
But an altruist can be just that person for whom it is important to prove one’s need for oneself or to express oneself through good deeds. That is, assisting, such a person, in the first place, sometimes even unknowingly,meets their needs, replacing them with either lack of attention or lack of recognition from others. Is it possible to consider him a true altruist, if in his actions there are selfish impulses? To judge this is very difficult!
A wise altruist is not an angel in white clothes!
Can you imagine a person who lives without thinking about what he will eat tomorrow and where he will take the money for it, but at the same time he is in a hurry to give everything to the needy? Yes, this is the emasculated unconditional altruist who rejoices at the success of others and gets pleasure from the opportunity to commit an unselfish act.
But it is worth thinking, but is this image so attractive? What is it for those who live with such a person? Is his intoxication the process of doing good deeds a manifestation of short-sightedness? After all, to help someone not only with a word, you need to have the means for this. So, you have to think about yourself. But how can you earn, without having for this health, effort and time?
It turns out that a wise altruist is a person who must be cautious, foresee the consequences of his actions and, most importantly, have the ability not to become a slave to the one whom he assists.It is very important, even from the most disinterested motives, to teach the needy to take care of himself. And how can a person who has no practical vein do this?
Is altruism fire useful?
In nature, fortunately, no qualities exist in their pure form. It is as difficult to meet the “extreme” altruist in the modern world, as well as a complete egoist.
Pure altruism can manifest itself in special situations, when self-sacrifice is the only way to let others survive. The man who, at the price of his life, saves a child or covers his body ready to explode a mine, is an unconditional altruist. The value of his act will be evaluated only by those who remained alive, and he himself will not receive even gratitude for it.
Without this unique quality, humanity would not have survived, but such altruism may not exist for long. In everyday life, it becomes less pronounced - and this is also true, because the human race would soon disappear if everyone in it were ready to part with life easily.
It is important to be able to combine the beginnings of the altruist and the egoist.
A person living in a modern society cannot but take care of himself and his well-being.After all, more often than not, it depends on whether his children receive a good education, whether he can surround the life of elderly parents with comfort. How many areas in which people with material goods can provide the necessary help to others!
It has been proved more than once in history that a person who does not love himself cannot, is not capable of loving another, and therefore does not bring him any significant benefit. Only in the process of fair exchange can people realize themselves and live in a peaceful, favorable society.
In our world, an altruist is a person who is able to balance and harmoniously combine concern for his well-being with selflessness in relation to other people. And this skill, you see, is worthy of respect!