The Fair-Weather Altruist

Because we tend toward a relatively self-involved perspective wrote the girl with a blog about herself, we all too often read that people come into our lives, and inflict pain upon our lives in order to help us grow.

Not surprisingly, very little time is spent on appreciating the times when this entry of others into our lives is to help them grow, to the perceived detriment and pain of our selves.

Perceived because if we don’t believe that everything happens for only the best of reasons (even when we never find out what that good reason may be), and if we don’t believe that our well-being is contingent upon the well-being of all, then we shall forever remain inward looking and only ever perceive any hurtful experience as one of pain on our person, full stop.

Now. Imagine embracing a world where we accepted — without bitterness — that we will sometimes be shredded and traumatised and disengaged and beaten down so that someone else’s heart may grow and be protected and cared for and loved?

Even more difficult to swallow, is that the person learning at your expense may be the person who did the shredding and inflicted the trauma?

Essentially, a world where we didn’t make our pain only about our growth alone, but rather about the collective growth of humanity. (Not being responsible for it, but rather open to it completely and totally.)

I can hear you yelling at me. And I get it: because whytf should someone else’s growth come at the cost of my own pain? Here are your choices — decide for yourself:

A) Wishing someone ill — which breeds resentment and bitterness and fills your heart with poison and you become annoying and no one wants to hang out with you.

Sidebar: I have in the last year afforded myself a general rule of three days. Three days inside of which I can engage in, roll around and cover myself with every sh.tty, hurtful, disgusting thought I can find. It is not pretty, but it is satisfying, and it most definitely unleashes The Crazy (to my closest and dearest and Best Friend In The Whole Wide World). And after I ask her to add to that list and I indulge one last time, I then bust my ass to move into the following scenario.

B) Wishing someone well — which breeds love and warmth, in general. Just look at the hippies, who are often so v happy, and usually v well dressed.

C) Being indifferent (which, in case you haven’t guessed, isn’t sexy) — means being a sloth of spirit. It means not taking the time to think and to consider and to engage. And when given the choice to expand or shrink your heart, why wouldn’t you choose the former, even if it means doing the extra leg-work, Sloth?

People wank on about altruism always, but very few people understand that within this concept is a weight which we must share with grace (and for which we should not require the exchange of funds).

Crazier still is that we may never know how our pain helped someone else. And yet, to be closer to altruism, we must choose to accept this possibility with open arms. Even when we are drowning within our pain.

Repeatedly, I have written that the choices we make define the overall essence of our character. The logical extension to this is that such choices represent our world view (i.e. you choose not to eat meat, then your world view is of a vegetarian / vegan; you choose to support war for profit, then your world view is of a degenerate c.nt, etc.).

If our world view is an altruistic one, or if we are aiming to make it an altruistic one, then we must at some point accept the above flip-side to our pain. Undoubtedly, it is not easy — least of all when we are choking on the muddied swamps of hurt — but it is definitely a standard worthy of pursuit, but only for those of us interested in self-improvement and evolution.