Altruism, (Webster’s Dictionary)
1. The principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others (opposed to egoism ).
2. Animal Behavior, behavior by an animal that may be to its disadvantage but that benefits others of its kind, as a warning cry that reveals the location of the caller to a predator.
In other words, you are altruistic when a) You live for the sake of others, or b) You put yourself at risk for the sake of others.
Does that make any sense? Is our life obliged to be subjected to the life of others? How can we be certain that we came to the right decision?
I think Webster makes sense in his #2 statement when he says “…that benefits others of its kind…”
Yes, people of our own kind and not just anybody.
Yes, people who understand the importance of your gift and are eager to pay back the favor.
Yes, people who realize the importance of being of independent of mind and body, seeking to develop their greatness for the glory of their Maker and for their own satisfaction.
Because of Webster’s small print in this case “…that benefits others of its kind…” I am clear of what altruism means.
On the other hand, if I had read only Webster’s first definition, “…have unselfish concern for the welfare of others…” I would have had a big problem with that one, because others may not have been people “of my own kind.”
So, again, I disagree with Webster, but at the same time I also agree with it.
I am telling you all this to make you aware of how easy it is to go astray in our goal to a happy and wonderful life. Confusion paves our way each and every day and that is the main reason why we do not grow at the desired speed.
You have to keep reminding yourself that your best guide is Reality. In this case, your reality is that you are a person of a single mind and body, and as such, your main purpose is to take care of yourself. And you are willing to help others but only when the peril of your action is not suicidal or obliterates your defenses.
Helping people “of your own kind” is not altruistic, but Selfish. Putting yourself at risk just to anybody is altruistic and wrong because it severs your potential and keeps the others in their wrong way of life.