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Altruism

by James Tang (747 views)
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What It Is?

Altruism often defined as having concern or welfare for others and exists as a core aspect of many religions around the world. Similar to selflessness, altruism may exist in other living beings, and is often performed at a cost to themselves while directly benefiting the receiving party.

It is often confused with loyalty, although altruism does not play on any pre-existing relationship and ultimately does not expect anything in return.  Throughout time, many people have debated whether authentic altruism exists because the giver may have gained an intrinsic reward through self-gratification when performing an act of altruism. This is directly in contrast with altruism and thus results in the constant debate.

Why Does It Happen?

Many different parties have tried explaining Altruism in humankind and animals through the years, each with their own point of reasoning. For example, evolutionary experts claim that Altruism may happen only to close kin and that distant kin or strangers may not be in effect of the receiving end of such practices.

In addition, there may be vested interest in the receiving party as helping them could mean potential benefits in the long run of the altruist. A more scientific view on altruism claims that when people perform charitable acts, it activates the reward pathway in the human brain similar to that of sex and food. As such, it proved that perhaps altruism was hardwired in humans all along and was pleasurable to them.

Religious View Points of Altruism

Most of the world’s religions promote altruism as a moral value which its followers should adopt in order to benefit from. Such forms of altruism possess an explanation behind them, and may be selective leading to debate as true altruism and selflessness are contrary to the former.

In Buddhism, practitioners are taught about karma and how it affects the individual through the motives behind each action. As such Buddhism encourages us to have love and compassion for each other and from there be “altruistic” in our approach to the world.

For Christianity, altruism is put across as having love for others equivalent to the love they have for their own God. This is stated in the Ten Commandments and draws a strong link between God and the people, in turn translating to altruism of mankind.

How do Parents Inculcate this in Children?

It has been known that kids learn best when they are young, and it is definitely not wrong to say that teaching good values such as altruism can make your kids a better person in the future. Thankfully, much research done have found that kids are mostly born with the trait of altruism in them and seem to display such behaviours almost without any need for prompting.

With that being said, environments can change the way kids behave and it is important to encourage the altruism already in your kid instead of suppressing them. Kids love to mimic the actions of their role models so simple actions such as showing signs of altruism would encourage your kids to display them. On top of it, bringing your kids to do charitable deeds such as helping out at soup kitchens or foundations will allow them to empathise with those in need, strengthening their moral compasses.

What It Is?

Altruism often defined as having concern or welfare for others and exists as a core aspect of many religions around the world. Similar to selflessness, altruism may exist in other living beings, and is often performed at a cost to themselves while directly benefiting the receiving party.

It is often confused with loyalty, although altruism does not play on any pre-existing relationship and ultimately does not expect anything in return.  Throughout time, many people have debated whether authentic altruism exists because the giver may have gained an intrinsic reward through self-gratification when performing an act of altruism. This is directly in contrast with altruism and thus results in the constant debate.

Why Does It Happen?

Many different parties have tried explaining Altruism in humankind and animals through the years, each with their own point of reasoning. For example, evolutionary experts claim that Altruism may happen only to close kin and that distant kin or strangers may not be in effect of the receiving end of such practices.

In addition, there may be vested interest in the receiving party as helping them could mean potential benefits in the long run of the altruist. A more scientific view on altruism claims that when people perform charitable acts, it activates the reward pathway in the human brain similar to that of sex and food. As such, it proved that perhaps altruism was hardwired in humans all along and was pleasurable to them.

Religious View Points of Altruism

Most of the world’s religions promote altruism as a moral value which its followers should adopt in order to benefit from. Such forms of altruism possess an explanation behind them, and may be selective leading to debate as true altruism and selflessness are contrary to the former.

In Buddhism, practitioners are taught about karma and how it affects the individual through the motives behind each action. As such Buddhism encourages us to have love and compassion for each other and from there be “altruistic” in our approach to the world.

For Christianity, altruism is put across as having love for others equivalent to the love they have for their own God. This is stated in the Ten Commandments and draws a strong link between God and the people, in turn translating to altruism of mankind.

How do Parents Inculcate this in Children?

It has been known that kids learn best when they are young, and it is definitely not wrong to say that teaching good values such as altruism can make your kids a better person in the future. Thankfully, much research done have found that kids are mostly born with the trait of altruism in them and seem to display such behaviours almost without any need for prompting.

With that being said, environments can change the way kids behave and it is important to encourage the altruism already in your kid instead of suppressing them. Kids love to mimic the actions of their role models so simple actions such as showing signs of altruism would encourage your kids to display them. On top of it, bringing your kids to do charitable deeds such as helping out at soup kitchens or foundations will allow them to empathise with those in need, strengthening their moral compasses.