Topic outline

  • Altruism is a value that must be nurtured for greater human happiness, harmony and brotherhood.

    • Altruism

      Altruism or selflessness is the principle or practice of helping others without selfishness. It is the opposite of selfishness and the word was coined by the French philosopher Auguste Comte in French, as altruism. It is a positive human virtue found in many cultures. It is a core aspect of various religious traditions and secular worldviews. This is an act of performing an action for the benefit of other individual without expecting any reward or compensation such as pleasure and quality of life, time, probability of survival etc. Altruism does not consider relationships; it is different from feelings of loyalty as it is predicated upon social relationships.

      Altruistic people focus on others and have generous tendencies; they are always ready to share, help or sacrifice for other’s well-being in return of intrinsic reward in the form of personal gratification. These kinds of people are happy when others flourish, unhappy when others are in misery. Most societies acknowledge the importance of altruism within the family and communities. We are motivated to cooperate rather than to conflict, to promote harmony within family. Altruism has its own reward. Positive relationships with others have always been a more natural basis for self-esteem than either materialistic things or illusions about money or power over others.

      Now question is why to practice Altruism?

      •       Altruism makes us happy: People feel happier when they do something good for others. They have sense of pleasure, social connection, and trust.

      •       Altruism is good for our health: People who voluntarily help others tend to experience fewer aches and pains, have better overall physical health and hardly suffer from depression.

      •       Altruism promotes social connections: When we do something good for others, they feel closer to us, and we also feel closer to them. This way it “fosters a sense of interdependence and collaboration in our social community.”

      •       Altruism is contagious: When we sacrifice for other, we don’t only help that particular person but also spur a ripple effect of generosity. Each person in a network can influence numbers of people, some of whom he or she does not know at all.

      In this modern economic age, people are always busy in obtaining more and more themselves but altruism teaches us to give it to others. Sometimes even a small help for a person can become a turning point for another person. It is also related to volunteerism. All the steps to solve for social problems cannot be taken only by the government. The degree of altruism varies from society to society. It is one of the finest traits of human virtue which needs to be nourished from childhood. Altruistic people even risk their lives to save others. Altruism is a virtue which cannot be taught overnight but it is a way of life which is the reverse of selfishness.

      Altruism is a value that must be nurtured for greater human happiness, harmony and brotherhood.