Rising above altruism

On one level, the word altruism is the empty set.  It has a definition but contains no elements.  Why no substance?  Psychological hedonism teaches that selfless concern for others gives satisfaction, which is a selfish reward.  (Nothing is completely selfless.)  To avoid circular reasoning, let us rephrase the question.  We ask merely whether an action […]

The drumbeat of being needed

What can be more generous than meeting the needs of others? There lurks a selfish desire: the sense of control (including jealousy). Overdosing is toxic

What is the bigger picture?

Relax!  Today’s article links you to your world without requiring you to save that world.  Humans enjoy context (the big picture, your world).  This is comforting if you agree with Friday’s message that the world is beautiful.  Now we consider how that helps. When we see ourselves in the bigger picture of reality, that affects […]

We Have Moved!

The older blog posts are here for a while. The complete site will probably redirect in April 2020. As of 20 March 2020, new material is being added only to the new location. Please bookmark the new address: www.beingforothers.blog. Thank you for reading!

Engulfed in Beauty

Pediatric medicine regularly involves decorating the child’s room.  Children are responsive to cheerful environment; it promotes healing.  Admitted or ignored, the same applies to adults.  Dr. King brought us hope by teaching us to see the beauty of the promised land around us. Did Dr. King dispense decorations?  Problems worsen if they are decorated over.  […]

When better does not mean more

“More is better.”  So goes most advertising:  measure something and increase the number.  It works pretty well for gasoline mileage and typing speed. Someday someone will ask whether you are measuring the right thing.  If you are not, why increase the number?  In ten consecutive years I completed the neighborhood 10K run, until the organizers […]

Being for (and aware of) others

Sharing involves modesty. When parties are greedy, they spoil the opportunities for others. On a global scale this is devastating. Intelligence balances consumption and production. Sensitivity makes happier distribution.

So, What Is Needed?

In the prior post, we discussed people’s need to be needed. It plays out sadly in pet food commercials that tug at owners’ generosity emotions. Pets are supposed to give their owners happiness by gobbling up the advertised food. Careless owners are tempted to overindulge in watching their pets eagerly eating, resulting in obese pets. […]

Peak Motivation

People work harder for others than they do for themselves because humans are hard-wired for cooperation.  For motivation, social value is stronger than self-interest. Negative proof:–Recently a respected retirement home was saddened by the suicide of one of its most appreciated residents, a retiree from an active and productive career, father of several successful, caring […]

Noah Complex

There is a religious viewpoint suggesting that I must find the elect or chosen few and bring them out of a corrupt world that is on its way to destruction. This separatist suggestion appears narrow and contrived. I am energized instead by the viewpoint that I belong to the human family, which can use some […]

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