Altruism or All-truism, it is amazing what an extra L for love can do to a word and maybe even to a world. It is a fact of human nature that we repeat things that give us pleasure. I pondered whether there may be a way of encouraging people to help others with more frequency and find it pleasurable. That they would find a positive sense of associated well being that comes from the feeling that you, in your own way, played a part of making the world a better place, by your own efforts and sacrifice...
I added a L for love to altruism and made a new word All-truism meaning All true. It suggests that we are all part of the whole humanity and anything we do to help others we also do for ourselves for the end result will be the world will be a better place, a safer place, a more loving place with less disease, hatred, animosity and violence. Do not ever let religion or politics interfere with friendships. It is imperative that our religious and political leader be honest as the day is light or they will be unfit to lead us. There can be no room for half truth. For a half truth is a half lie. There is no room for deceit in honest leadership or it will be misleading.
I have always liked to help others and was fond of the word altruism. In exploring the root meaning of the word I found out it meant alternative to ruin, as in alt - ruism, alt - rue. It dealt with doing some thing for others with out thought of reward, even the reward of just feeling good for helping some one in their moment of need. It was as if they were being deprived of the joy of reaching out to help some one, motivated by love and enjoying the experience. It feels good to do good.
One day on television a reporter asked some one who just made a substantial contribution to a group who help others. " Are you doing this out of guilt". The giver was caught flatfooted verbally, and confessed to perhaps feeling guilty after the accusation of guilt. A stronger reply that would have put the reporter in place would have been, " I would feel guilty if I did not do my part to help. No I do not feel guilty, I feel good that I have been blessed and share the fruits of my labor with others, not for material reward but for the internal feeling of well-being that comes from giving. The gifts that I give come back in ways unseen.
Guilt is never the positive motivation or force that love is. Guilt has been used as a balancing factor through out history’s attempts to right injustices. Sometimes it creates more injustices. Sometimes accusations of guilt lead to revenge, Sometimes on the innocent. Truth requires an effort at objectivity or the world will wallow in the undercurrents of half truths and half lies. The subjectivity of the moment can cloud the truth. Above all, remove fear from the rational process. Let us learn from history’s past. Let us answer the challenges of the now, but do it honestly. Let us work toward the future and do it with objective honestly.
May I suggest that you familiarize yourself with the prayer of St. Francis, if you do and put it into practice you will be familiarizing yourself with inner joy.
© July 11, 2003 George J. Bleich