What Matters/Altruism

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Altruism[edit]

Altruism is a concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and a core aspect of various religious traditions, though the concept of 'others' toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions. Altruism is synonymous with the virtue of generosity and is the opposite of selfishness.

Altruism is a human motivation related to empathy, justice, duty, and care. [1]

Alfie Kohn concludes his book on altruism with these sentences:[2]

To move ourselves beyond selfishness, we already have what is required. We already are what is required. We are human and we have each other

After spending years assisting Maurice, who was a 12-year old panhandler when they met, Laura Schroff said: “Everything I ever gave to Maurice, he gave back to me tenfold. Every meal, every shirt, every bike or toothbrush was matched by Maurice with a more genuine appreciation than I have ever known.”[3]

Assignment:[edit]

Suggestions for further reading:[edit]

  • Schroff, Laura; Tresniowski, Alex (2011). An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny. Howard Books. pp. 272. ISBN 978-1451642513. 
  • Kohn, Alfie (1992). The Brighter Side Of Human Nature: Altruism And Empathy In Everyday Life. Basic Books. pp. 416. ISBN 978-0465007585. 
  • Gensler, Harry J. (2013). Ethics and the Golden Rule. Routledge. pp. 256. ISBN 978-0415806879. 
  • Ridley, Matt (1996). The Origins of Virtue. United Kingdom: Viking (Penguin Books). pp. 295. ISBN 0-670-86357-2. 
  • (Evaluate the book: The Heart of Altruism )

References[edit]

  1. Kohn, Alfie (1992). The Brighter Side Of Human Nature: Altruism And Empathy In Everyday Life. Basic Books. pp. 416. ISBN 978-0465007585. 
  2. Kohn, Alfie (1992). The Brighter Side Of Human Nature: Altruism And Empathy In Everyday Life. Basic Books. pp. 416. ISBN 978-0465007585. 
  3. Schroff, Laura; Tresniowski, Alex (2011). An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny. Howard Books. pp. 272. ISBN 978-1451642513.