Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Desire to Help

Fortunately most of us, if even very occasionally, find gratitude in assisting others and performing selfless acts. The causes vary greatly--from humanitarian aid, to humane treatment for animals, protection of the environment, mentoring, or lending a hand to make someone's day a little easier. While our charitable acts are commendable, human nature unfortunately dictates we generally only perform selfless acts when we somehow benefit from them. This begs the question, "are the acts truly selfless?" More often than not, we need incentive to expend energy, resources or time on a task that does not directly benefit us. Be it in the form of a tax deduction, recognition, the improvement of self-image or reputation, acquisition of good karma or cleansing of conscience, we almost always focus on how a "selfless" act will benefit us.

How would it be if we were able to help others with absolutely no thought of self-benefit? If we could focus only on the impact of our acts?

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