altruism

altruism


Responsibility for Our Fellow Man

responsibility June 2nd, 2019

My wife and I donated five thousand dollars to a local no-cost medical clinic, the Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic. My visit was amazing. It’s a new building, and is at least as nice as my doctor’s. Probably nicer. It was built recently with 100% donations and grants! For an individual making up to about $25,000 a year or a family of four earning around $50,000 annually, primary care and many other specialties are free. Free. It felt like a wonderful asset to our community, which sits in one of the poorest states in the country. Many folks, however, believe that anything “free” is not only a waste of resources, but morally offensive. That is the cult of the individual, and it runs afoul of an important belief underlying progressive politics and moral decency: the responsibility we have for our fellow man (and woman).

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Altruism in Action: Helping Others is a Virtue

altruism February 19th, 2019

Altruism is one of the most intriguing virtues. I have always found it to be “upon high,” very worthy, truly excellent. It has been called “selfishness in reverse,” and is basically when a person is helpful to another when “no benefits are expected or offered in return.” It sometimes involves self-sacrifice (for example, if you give money to someone, you don’t have that money any longer, or if you run into a burning building, you may be injured). It’s human beings helping human beings, and choosing to allocate valuable resources in such a way that one does not expect to keep a lion’s share of it. Is it real? How does is mesh with capitalism and the “rugged individualism” that the wealthy and powerful have fomented in this country since the very beginning? Is love really the answer?

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Magnanimity & Altruism: Saving 50 Jews from Death

magnanimity October 4th, 2018

Eleanor and Gilbert Kraus are very likely two of the greatest unsung heroes in American history – at least, in Jewish history. I watched a documentary about their courageous acts (in 1939), which amounted to nothing less than a full-throated display of magnanimity and altruism. Here is their story. I will also include a selection of quotations about magnanimity by noted Holocaust survivors, human rights activists, altruism researchers, and stalwart exemplars of virtue and honor such as Elie Wiesel, Nelson Mandela, Anne Frank, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Viktor Frankl. 

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What Does “Moral Values” Mean?

moral values July 5th, 2018

Values is a neutral term; one could value relaxation, competition, humor, sexual conquest, helping others, or swindling them successfully (subterfuge and personal gain). It means what it sounds like it means – a value is something which a person holds in high regard, pursues, and even loves. Values tend to include hallmark ones such as truth, justice, humility, goodness, and kindness. In this blog, I explore the idea of moral values, asking what the term means, which values probably qualify as moral values, and how one implements them in one’s life.

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10 Keys to Well-Being (Plus Motivational Quotes)

well-being March 20th, 2018

The very interesting Greater Good Science Center at UC-Berkeley has some assertive and scientifically-based ideas on wonderful topics such as well-being, fulfillment, meaning, happiness, flourishing, etc. Along with U-Penn’s Positive Psychology master’s program, these are two powerhouse schools that take the science of optimism, happiness, flourishing, and well-being seriously. It’s neat to see, since at times in the past, topics such as these, or meaning, goodness, love, wisdom, and “psi” were not considered suitable subjects for psychological science to research and investigate. Click through to learn which ten keys the GGSC, positive psychology, and I suggest for greater fulfillment, joy, contentment, and success.

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Motivational Quotes About Helping Others

helping March 18th, 2018

Does your life matter? Does mine? Do they matter to other people? Do they matter in the larger scheme of things? Significance may be the ultimate issue, and an important yardstick of successful living. Our feelings of self-worth are intimately tied to our sense of significance. What gives the strongest boost to our feelings of self-worth? Isn’t it the knowledge that we are making a meaningful contribution to the world around us? That we are helping others? That we are doing things which somehow matter?

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Fulfillment and Happiness Are Worthy Goals

fulfillment and happiness March 5th, 2018

According to half of the population, it’s all about happiness. Whatever gets you through the night, as it were. Football, nachos, sex, rest, hanging out by the pool – these are considered lower-level forms of happiness. The extremely influential 19th-century philosopher and more-or-less libertarian John Stuart Mill, however, noted that in this “utilitarian” pursuit of the greatest happiness by the greatest number, much is lost. He favored higher pleasures, and noted that it is better to be Socrates unsatisfied than a pig satisfied. American writer George Will put it this way: “Modern Americans travel light, with little philosophic baggage other than a fervent belief in the right to the pursuit of happiness.” We can do better, and go deeper; somewhere between pigs and philosophers lies the truth. In this blog, I will explore the fundamentals of finding fulfillment and happiness, considering them as worthy goals for a person who wishes to live life in the best possible way. Psychology and philosophy will assist me, as usual!

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Simple Ways of Helping People at Home and Abroad

helping people at home December 1st, 2017

Trying to be a better citizen can be an intimidating and overwhelming idea. Here are some simple, effective ways of helping people at home and abroad. 
Republished from an original article by Guest Blogger John Hawthorne.

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Altruism Quotes: Help Others, Help Yourself!

altruism quotes June 8th, 2017

You’re passing a homeless person; they look haggard and hungry and tired; you are doing okay in life. What do you do – pass by without making eye contact, make eye contact and keep walking, or stop and give some time or money. Enter altruism quotes! These brief little nuggets of wisdom can facilitate reaching down and pulling out some love, compassion, care, and magnanimity. Sure, one doesn’t want to be a “sucker” and get pulled in by all kinds of money-making schemes, but erring on the side of charitableness and concern for one’s fellow human being is almost never “foolish.” In other cases, altruism quotes would urge one to stop the car when you see a person in distress, trying to get that dog picked up off the streets, or even wading in a flood to help a stranded individual. Whether we are believers in God or self-confident skeptics, altruism quotes can help us to live a life that we can be proud of when the day is done. Here are some favorites:

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The Glory and Beauty of Magnanimity

angels April 2nd, 2017

Albert Einstein said: “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” That is a wonderful quote about wisdom – well, magnanimity to be exact. Magnanimity is from the Latin magnus and animus, meaning “great spirit.” It’s a wonderful value that gets at high-mindedness, points to real class, and denotes a generosity of the heart. Compassion, empathy, and love undergird this phenomenon. Other similar and related virtues similar are grace, nobility, honor, chivalry, greatness, and magnificence. There are few values that reach as high and deserve as much respect as magnanimity, altruism, and kindness.

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