I noticed there was a slight spike in viewers on Monday. I’m sorry that I disappointed you. I wrote, but it just wasn’t very good. It was me just pumping out words because I needed the exercise. It’s not fair of me to make those blog posts. However, today, I shall not let you down.
Anyway, I was driving home today. I wanted to be home. I wanted to be finished with my day. I mean, I wanted to be hand down my pants, in front of the TV Al Bundy style, stick a fork in me I’m DONE – with my day today.
I didn’t want to be home because my day was long. It wasn’t because I had something compelling to rush home to do. I just wanted to be there. It’s comfortable here. It’s safe here (usually). Plus, I really wanted to get my workout over and done with. FYI, I’m putting off my workout to type this out.
Anyway, I wasn’t necessarily in a hurry, but I didn’t have time to deal with people’s stuff. Except, I did. You see, rush hour traffic is never much fun. In fact, one might say, traffic sucks!
Since traffic sucks, you have people coming in from all directions and everyone is bumper to bumper. You don’t want to let any space form between you and the car in front of you or one of two things will happen. The car behind you will get annoyed and either ride you even HARDER or dangerously speed around you. OR, you’ll let someone in front of you adding whole SECONDS onto your daily commute!
Well, I saw someone attempting to turn across traffic and instead of going my own pace and blocking them out. I stopped all of the traffic behind me to let them out. Why? Because it seemed like the right thing to do. Who knows how long that person would’ve sat there before someone other than me would’ve stopped for them?
Now, trust me, I don’t believe this was one of the kindest acts known to man. I mean, talk to the biggest d-bag you know and even he or she has probably let a car go in front of them on at least one occasion. The point of my story is of what this made me think. (Not ending sentences in prepositions just sounds awkward sometimes, no?)
It made me think of altruism. I don’t believe I was being especially altruistic in that moment. I did what I did because it suited me at the time. In some ways, it wasn’t altruistic at all because the exchange did provide me with a sense of pride. And doing something for pride and/or recognition is egoism NOT altruism.
Now, with that said. I do believe in altruism. The church of Altruism excepts everyone and all of their beliefs. Whether you’re Atheist, Christian, Hindu, or a Pastafarian, we accept you with open arms.
Now, some say altruism doesn’t exist, and this isn’t me debating the highly studied and observed theories. This is me merely looking at it semantically. Dictionary.com says altruism is the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others. In other words, it’s the practice of giving a damn. That’s something I can get behind!
I want my life to be so devoted to others that I put the PATHETIC in empathetic. I really believe in us humans. I really believe we love one another and are cognizant of the fact that we can NOT live without each other. We are so in tune with our emotions that Sarah McLachlan and a few cute animal pics have us suddenly up to our necks in kittens.
Anyway, I guess this whole post was just to say… be kind to someone today. They’ll appreciate it and you will as well. Except… don’t just do it to feel good because that defeats the purpose of altruism, but then again… who cares?
– Brandon Holly –