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Altruism vs. Opportunism — By John Reed

Altruism vs Opportunism
Our country seems more divided than ever. Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative…At the simplest level, the two competing mindsets might be called altruism vs. opportunism.
Altruists give to others without considering the price to themselves, while opportunists rise without help from anyone else. Each has an appeal, but one is an illusion that goes against basic human nature. Some would argue the struggle of moving from a self-centered mindset to a more inclusive one is progress. The mark of civilization.
The problem is that those who claim to want to help others, be it through higher taxes, more regulations, or whatever, aren’t really being selfless. Their motivation is just as opportunistic as the ills they ascribe to the mean old “want to have it all for themselves”: they choose those policies because they think that’s the path to getting elected and gain more power.
Ever since Cain killed Able, mankind’s basic nature has been to look out for #1. Wrapping it all in a neat bow of Left wing hot air doesn’t change who we are. Altruism only works about as far as motherhood. I would even allow some churches and congregations act sometimes (and increasingly rarely) for the good of others.
So should we accept the inevitable and give in to our baser instincts? No. There really are a lot of positives to expecting people to take care of themselves, to not be dependent on the whims and handouts from others. At the same time, there truly are those who cannot fend for themselves. This time of year is especially hard for people who through circumstance or fate need others’ help.
This Christmas, don’t just be an opportunist and give presents to family, employees, or bosses in expectation of something in return. Go against your basic programming and for one day at least be an altruist. Donate to a charity. Help in a soup kitchen. Adopt an abandoned pet.
Do something that doesn’t help yourself at all…except maybe bring you closer to what God had in mind all those centuries ago in Bethlehem.

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