Altruism — Helping Others To Lead A Better Life
Be the angel that gives thy life,
Pulling those in need, in grief, & strife.
For our time is limited, creatures of dust,
Make every moment count; every effort must.
“Give, even if you only have a little.” — Buddha
Human Society & Altruism
We, as humans, are born to help each other and live in communities together. Giving and helping others can help us grow as a society. Different people have very different skills and abilities. When people come together, they can build very complex systems. As temporal beings, our time on this planet is limited. We came from dust and will eventually become dust itself. Helping others gives our lives a purpose and helps those around us succeed.
We also understand that life is very unfair. So, while some people have many different resources at their disposal, many do not. These include financial, intellectual, and social resources. It then becomes essential for those who have the resources to pull others in grief and pain and help them overcome their troubles. Furthermore, times change as well. There might be times when we need their help and thus need to rely on them when we go through difficulties. Becoming altruistic is an excellent way to live a human life.
Lessons From Books
In his book, The Life You Can Save, Peter Singer claims that we can eliminate extreme poverty, but we haven’t as yet. In 2017, 5.4 million children under five died of preventable diseases. According to the World Bank, as of 2018, 736 million people live in extreme poverty, meaning they live on the local equivalent of $1.90 a day. Isn’t that a shocking number? To put that in perspective, you can get 2 lb of bananas in San Francisco for $2.0. This is highly unfair. Life is highly unfair. Here is another startling fact. According to Forbes, there are about 2,000 billionaires in the world. The question I ask is, why do we allow such unfairness to exist? What can we do about it? Peter Singer argues that we can increase charitable giving by creating a culture of giving. This is the message I want to leave you with. How can you contribute to the culture of giving? How can you help alleviate the suffering of another human soul?
“If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.” — Buddha
In his book, A World Without Poverty, the Nobel Laureate Mohammed Yunus talks about building social businesses as a tool for alleviating poverty at scale. It is an exciting idea where poverty reduction occurs through wealth and not through direct money transfer. The creation of social businesses still requires donors. The underlying idea behind both the works is that of altruism and care for another individual. Many of us were born with adequate resources to feed ourselves. We can bring the world to a better place.
“What you do not wish upon yourself, extend not to others.” — Confucius.
A Three-Step Process For Building A More Equal World
Here are my “Three Steps To Equality”:
Step-1: Become aware.
Step-2: Save and donate.
Step-3: Encourage others.