Writer, musician, and host

Altruism and the Source of our Issues

                Over the course of the past couple of weeks, a lot of my free thoughts have dealt with an idea of Altruism. I have recently come back from a trip to India with the Salvation Army and therefore had an opportunity to view their culture. I did a little bit of teaching, a little bit of playing, and really a lot of talking to the locals.

PC: John Doctor

PC: John Doctor

While I was there I had a deep appreciation for their concept of community. Here, on the other hand, it appears that we are only willing to help people out when it is a convenience. A great deal of the time, we take a great first step and give the help that we can afford; and then proceed to pat ourselves on the back and walk away. As soon as a person attempts to get help, we become annoyed and tell them to “make your situation better” instead of helping someone in need. How often do we view someone in trial as an annoyance and nuisance when it is someone who is simply down on his luck.

As a child, I remember an instance during recess (maybe 4th grade) where I was trying to tell a friend my life story. I was telling them about my parents’ divorce and my unknown biological father. This kid proceeded to tell me he was bored and wanted to play. I understand that this is a mindset of a child who hasn’t developed an emotional palate yet. But how often do we see that mindset on people who have reached adulthood? As a Christian who sees this in a lot of his Christian colleagues, that is really a shame.

"Compelled by Love" by Andrew Blyth has a message that is similar to this.

Compelled by love
Called to serve Wherever there are souls in need.
Compelled by love,
Called to find the lonely and the lost.
Touched by God’s grace,              
I’ll love where hearts are hurting.
How can I offer less than all
When I am born again by his forgiving?
I’m compelled by love.

I am far from an example of proper altruism – but I am trying to do become an example of what it needs to be; though recently that has proven rather difficult. I am rather down on my luck but will continue to try fixing older problems; while also trying to show love and respect without reward.