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Why Should We Help Others Instead Of Only Looking Out For Ourselves

This modern era craves our allegiance to the notion that consumption, wealth and social status jointly hold the great promise of true happiness.

Who you know and what you can afford equate to where your life lands on the scale of proper fulfillment. Machiavellian routine rules the day and competition gets misconstrued as some grimly thing that negates compassion between us all.

If that’s not something to ruefully ponder over, I am not sure what is. Once you emerge from that downer paragraph, continue to boldly read on as I divulge some obvious remedies to our current circumstances.

I've seen those suffocating under the dual crushing stones of poverty and foul luck. Like trampled daisies, there is no hope in these peoples’ heads as their circumstances have bent and broken them into a doomed shape.

Help doesn't come from within them no matter how many desperate mutterings-disguised-as-pleas they utter. Life can be direr than the average human can possibly know.

A shattered relationship or that failure to nab a promised job. Life can kick even a king in the nuts when his attention is lost elsewhere. Low blows define our existences, and even if it takes a bit of face-down on the floor writhing to get the pain out, true character comes in how you recover from these ill-fated cheap shots.

So, Why Should We Help Others?

A prime way to help relieve your own private pain is to assist in the mending of other folks’ suffering. Helping is a good thing, something a lot of people may not think about often enough.

I am not the kind to weigh one man's burden against the tragedy of another's. We walk our paths with relative ease or agony and mercy on those who stroll with the latter.

The beauty however, is that we as the greatest species have the capability to reach across the circumstance gap and aid those who are being flogged by the winds of misfortune worse than we ourselves are.

A helping hand from a happier place can do wonders to both the beholder and the receiver and can pull you both out of your darkest depths.

Those mysterious, ethereal “experts” we always hear whispering from various medias agree that helping other people has a positive effect on us when we do so.

But unless you’re some sociopathic nightmare you don’t need someone to tell you that.

The last time you returned that last wallet, puppy or wayward family heirloom.... you felt it. The last time you escorted a geriatric across a perilous street....you felt it. The last time you did the damned dishes so your girlfriend didn’t have to,...you felt it.

That fuzzy little rabbit punch you get right in your core organ when you see someone else’s face genuinely light up over some simple act of kindness you were nice enough to offer them.

It's Science

The act of giving’s potential is backed up by the sciences. Numerous studies over the years have proven that our brains’ mesolimbic systems activate in a similar way as they do when triggered by sex and other such delightful indulgences.

Feel-good chemicals and all of that scientific talk are your evidence, but as a writer I like to stick to the moral implications of such a thing.

I could ramble on and on in a haze of facts and words I have to look up to understand in order to present to you an infallible argument as to why helping fellow man is the bee’s knees.

I could meticulously present the notion that Darwin’s “group selection” backs up the idea that if a member of a group benefits, then so do any immediate groups it is a part of.

I could detail how stress and depression are self-focused ailments and that by engaging in somebody else’s struggles you are temporarily shifting your thinking away from your own woe.

I could do these things, but I won’t.

I’m not casting them off as irrelevant, but we humans are an emotional bunch and we happen to possess a twitchy little nuisance known as a ‘conscience’. Some people are convinced that these are the only reasons that people help one another, that at the root of it all, we only do it to experience these “feel good” chemicals or to guarantee that somewhere down the people we help will help us in return.

I can’t even argue that, but being charitable and decent isn’t something we should only do when we need an emotional boost.

John Bunyan, an English writer and preacher once put it so simply, that “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.

John Bunyan English Writer and Preacher

We as a species should help one another because it is the right thing to do, and that in its own right should be motivation to do so.

Help those who need it, when they need it, and don’t question why you should. Expectations damn us all, and expecting repayment out of charity is a vileness of some heft.

Go forth and be the glorious altruistic bastards we should be. Don’t do it for the fuzzy feelings, but accept them as positive byproducts of your service.

About the author

Dane Vandervelden

Madcap writer out of Poway, California. Graduated from CSU: San Marcos. Enjoys lucha libre, pizza and general ruckus. Drink whiskey, Spit venom.

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