This is an open thread.

I would like to hear occasions when you or someone you know has been selfless, that is, acted and they didn’t stand a chance to benefit in any way.

To put it differently, is selflessness possible?

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

77 thoughts on “Selfless

  1. I’m not convinced people set out to do things for others with the intention of receiving any reward. My partner’s helped strangers with vehicle problems, not because he wants to feel good about it, or expects anything. He just does it. There’s certainly a personal cost, in terms of time, using any of our tools, materials, electricity, fuel if he needs to drive anywhere. End result, he says ‘I’m pleased I could help,’ or ‘I tried to help, couldn’t do any more’. But, he doesn’t set out with the intention of feeling pleased or achieving something, so I would contend the original intention is selfless, but there *may* be a positive result.

    And on dogs, we home them because they need one and we can provide one. Yes there’s a benefit as they are good companions, but the primary and initial intent is to home an unwanted dog that someone has thrown out.

    Where’s the gain in giving money to homeless people begging on the street? Feel good factor? I don’t think so. Unless you are religious of course and you want to up your score as a ‘good person’ giving to the poor and feeding the starving homeless.

    As I don’t do any ‘selfless’ acts, I can’t say whether there is a feel good factor involved 🙂


    • makagutu says:

      It is not that the idea is conscious. The point is that no one would act if they didn’t gain. And don’t underestimate the value of ‘ am glad i could help’ it is in itself a reward.


  2. Maria F. says:

    The ones that meddle with this are the “ascetics”, they are the ones to ask, for myself, I don’t have the slightest idea. It seems to be a homo sapiens problem.


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