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If you ever thought there was somebody truly, and I mean 100 percent, genuine altruistic, you were wrong. There, I said it … I called you wrong, and I will not say that I am sorry, but I will explain.
Let’s take a close look at this: Even the greatest of givers have something to gain. You can call it altruism, but there will always be something received in return. You may cite Mother Theresa, Gandhi, or your dear grandmother. Yes, they are kind and they often do things that seem very self-sacrificing. Whether they know it on a conscious level or not, people do nice things for others because it feels good. For some people it is simply a reflex, and for others it may take a little more work. You may call it unselfish, but if it did not feel good to them, if it did not feel right, they would not do the things they do.
The Cynical Approach
I encounter cynics every day … we all do. We let them in, and we let them steal our energy. You cannot help it, regardless how hard you try. When you receive negativity, it becomes a part of you.
In contrast to the kindness described above, many people take an opposite approach … in fact, most people take an opposite approach. Again, often subconscious, but very real all the same. How many times have you heard a parent, a friend, or even a spouse say, “I am just telling you this for your own good” or “I just don’t want to see you let down.” I have heard that from people who indeed care about me, but I always realized that there is also a darker side. It may seem like a huge kindness to protect you from your own bad judgment, but how many times have people failed as a result of that one tipping point of doubt. This is even more true if you hear it from somebody you trust … somebody that you know cares about you.
Is it selfish? Too often the answer is “Yes”, very selfish and bred from jealousy. After all, if you do something that they can not even imagine doing, how might it feel to them? Similar to the often unconsciously selfish acts of kindness, there are many unconscious acts of unkindness. You can like it or not, but that is the way it is. Most of us have probably heard this, but have you really thought about it? Have you thought about whether you do this? Have you thought about others’ hopes, dreams, goals? Have you tried to help?
Try Some Altruism
I hope that you will think about this, and try to encourage a friend, or even a complete stranger. I am going to do that now. If you do not know somebody whom you wish to encourage, send a message to one of these people to encourage them.
Amy Walker: This is a friend who recently lost her job. At first, it was a real shock. It is still hard for her to believe. However, she found a renewed interest in painting. She is a great painter, and a very kind person. If she has the right encouragement, I believe that she can create a new income selling her artwork. Click here to send Amy some encouragement. You may also want to ask her to see some of her paintings!
Michael Colemire: I have known Michael as a t-shirt screen printing provider, but he recently shocked me. This guy has an amazing talent at carving. During my regular Friday Webcast, we started talking about hidden talents around us, and he showed us his hobby. He was met with a unanimous belief from the audience that he should take his hobby to market. His woodcarvings are really spectacular. Click here to send a nice message to Michael. You may also want to ask him to see some of his carvings!
Eugene Aronsky: If you know a student returning to college soon, you should meet this guy! I met Eugene on Twitter and I have found him to be a great inspiration and a wealth of knowledge about books. He founded a company called We Compare Books, and his goal is to help college students to afford textbooks. He built the company out of a passion he gained as he was a student seeking affordable buys on textbooks. His Website compares prices for textbooks and offers a great comparison shopping resource. Click here to meet Eugene.
Richard Reed: I know this man as “Ritchie” from back in elementary school. He moved away when we were kids, but social media brought us back together and we recently spent nine hours at my home talking about then, now, and the future. I really respect and like my old friend “Richie”. Aside from his day job, he has created a captivating collection of high-definition videos from places he has visited. I want to encourage him to continue his passion and promote them for sale to film makers. See what I am talking about and if you agree, send my old friend Richie a compliment.
What Will You do?
So there you have it. This is what I believe. I hope you will take some time, right now, to think about how even a small act of kindness can change people’s lives. Especially yours! When you are kind to others, it can build a reflex. It can become natural to spread a kind word. When that happens, the good feelings you have about yourself can be shocking!
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