Posted by Henry Lewis

Unconventional artist, writer, videographer and teacher. Personal Quote: It isn't easy being me ;-)

15 Comments

  1. Exactly! Thank you Henry. And can you tell me what your banner photo is? Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kim,

      Thanks! The image is a detail from a larger photo of a wall at a Buddhist temple in Laos–lots of little niches with two Buddhas in each one. I’m not sure of the symbolism, but I like the appearance that Buddha isn’t alone or maybe it’s a Buddha couple 🙂
      Take good care.

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  2. Sounds nice, I only have problems with any kind of ISM. I regard egomania as one of the worst problems today, the imperialist EGO responsible for many ugly things on our blue planet. Secular buddhist ideas are attractive, but it is an Asian culture, and as a European I am simply quite different and hypnosis really a much, much better vehicle for me. 🙂

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    1. Got it. -ism is just a label. I still agree with the sentiment. 🙂

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  3. Altruism, like any other ISM, doesn’t have an absolute value. In fact, like any other word, can work well or not so well depending on the context in which it is applied. I completely agree with the six points above on how altruism makes us happier. However, it does depend on context. I know someone (not me) who does voluntary work in courts talking to criminals to prepare them for the hearing. She often goes back home feeling upset and even shocked by the behaviour of the people she tries to help. As a non-religious, non-absolute person, I will always be guided by specific circumstances.

    Thanks Henry for making me think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Marios,

      I agree with you that context is also an important aspect of how and why we make daily choices. For example, there are certain things I cannot do because of health issues. If I don’t take care of my own health first, then I can’t be a benefit to anyone else. In fact, I would become someone’s burden. However, there are still many ways I can give back to those I interact with on a daily basis without harming my health. I think it’s important to simply be aware of the needs of others and consider how we can make a positive difference. My concept of altruism is from a one-on-one perspective and not through government programs, foreign aid etc. Sometimes, Western countries think they have the answers for those in the developing world, while in reality they just end up making matters worse. Thanks for your insightful comments!

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  4. Today the world is in turmoil and needs to learn a lot from Buddha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sandomina,

      Even though I grew up in a Christian family, Buddhist teachings speak to me on a very deep level. As the most human of human beings, I can’t visualize myself ever attaining what the dharma calls enlightenment, but I do see it as a truly worthy life-long goal. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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      1. You have summed it up very well.

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  5. Altruism: unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, 2020).
    ~ It’s unfortunate that we can sometimes focus on the -ism in a word to corrupt its meaning.
    ~ Our primitive ancestors were altruistic. Their survival depended upon it. We modern humans have become so individualistic and self-serving that caring for others, such as feeding the homeless, has even become a crime in some American cities.
    ~ I would also add one other benefit to adopting altruism as a way of life: it promotes peace.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Rosaliene,

      Yes, I agree. It’s easy to quibble about the origin and/or institutional usage of terms while ignoring the values behind the meaning. Without peace and well-being, none of the other things we strive for in life have any intrinsic value. Thanks as always for your comments!

      Liked by 3 people

  6. I sure wish more people really experienced altruistic feelings today. It seems to be slipping away from humanity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Robert,

      Sometimes we must experience the extremes in order to find our way back to the middle way. Is there hope for that on a massive scale? I’m not sure.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. So I consider myself an atheist/pagan/Buddhist and I was talking to a Jehovah’s Witness who told me that the world is lacking in compassion. I told her that it wasn’t true. I have met many compassionate and altruistic people in the world from all different types if religions. But those people will never get on the front page of any news outlet because they are just living their lives. Altruism is not slipping away. It is simply more hidden because we are more prone to noticing the negative. I include myself in this but I am trying to remember to practice looking for the good instead. Altruism does not have to big actions…it can be simple things that make a difference in someone’s life in that moment.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi PPJ,

      Yes, I agree. It’s those simple everyday actions that can make a huge difference in the lives of others. Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom.

      Liked by 1 person

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