If one went into a populated area and started to observe other people’s behaviour, they may start to see that not everyone has the same focus. There may be some people who are only concerned with their own well-being, and there could be others who are also concerned about the well-being of the people around them
One could come across a number of people who just push other people out of the way in order to get to their destination. They are then not going to worry about what happens to the other people.
Along with this, one could see that there are also people who are far more careful. While they will have somewhere to go; they will do what they can to make sure they don’t trouble the people around them.
However, one doesnt need to go into a populated area to see that not everyone has the same focus in life. The only thing they need to do is to think about the people they have met throughout their life.
When they do this, they may start to think about people are who generally behave in a certain way, and this will be different to observing people in public. This is because when one observes people in public, they are only going to be exposed to their behaviour in that moment.
Therefore, it won’t be possible for them to gain a balanced perspective of someone; the only thing they have to go by is what is taking place in front of them. If one was to find out more about someone, they may see that their behaviour in this context doesn’t match up with how they usually behave.
Yet when one has spent a certain amount of time with someone, it will give them the chance to have a more balanced perceptive. Some of the people who one thinks about may remind them of how selfless some people are.
These may be people who would do anything for anyone; with them being only too happy to put their own needs to one side. They are then there for others because they want to be, and not because they have to be.
There is also the chance that one will think about people who will remind them of how selfish people can be. In this case, they may be people who are too consumed with their own life to be there for others.
If their behaviour ever changed, it might be because they are trying to impress someone. What this means is that if they have the chance to look good, they would be there for others.
But other than that, they might have no interest whosoever in going out of their way for someone else. As a result of this, this kind of behaviour may rarely take place.
What this shows is that when someone is selfless, they are going to be different to someone who is selfish. When one thinks about the former, they might feel food; however, when they think about the later, they could feel bad.
Along with how one can feel when it comes to these two options; there is a strong chance that there will be plenty of people who would also feel the same. When one is selfless, they are often seen as being more evolved than someone who is selfish.
Another way of looking at this would be to say that when one can put their needs to one side, they are being altruistic. And even if they end up being effected in a negative way through being there for another, it might not bother them.
As long as they are able to make a difference, they may be only too happy reach out to another person. One way this could take place is if one was to jump into a river to save someone, or through giving money to the poor, for instance.
In cases like these (and many others), it is clear to see that one is not being given anything in return; they are simply giving their time and energy, and at times, their money. Based on this outlook, it would be accurate to say that one was being altruistic.
However, if one was to take a deeper look into what motivated them to reach out, and reflected on how they felt soon after, they may begin to see that they were able to receive a number things. For one thing, they might be someone who wants to make a difference in the world; helping others is then a way for them to fulfil this need.
Once they have helped someone, they can end up feeling really good, and this comes down to the fact that helping others is great way for one to experience greater levels of happiness. What this shows is that being there for others can have a positive effect on one’s well-being.
And as human beings are emotional beings, it can mean that an emotional pay off can be just as fulfilling as a physical pay off. Therefore, even though one might not receive anything from the person they help; what they experience on the inside could make up for what they don’t experience on the outside.
Along with this, helping others can also allow one to create a certain impression, and the feedback they receive from others can support how they see themselves. Their self-image is then going to be strengthened through being there for others.
It would be easy to say that one if one is not being selfless, then they must be being selfish; but in a way, these are simply two sides of the same coin. For example, one can be selfish and still be there for others, and they can also be selfless and still be there for themselves.
What is going to play a part here is how developed one is; if they are in a position where they feel like a child, and they are then overwhelmed by their own needs, it will be a challenge for them to truly be there for others. Yet if one feels like an adult, it will be normal for them to want to be there for others, and this is partly because they won’t be consumed by their own needs and they will then be in touch with their ‘higher’ needs, so to speak.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.