Essay Sample on the Egoistic Part of the Altruistic Whole

Posted on February 12, 2008

The internal condition of every person is strongly influenced by the environment he/she lives in. People, events, customs, beliefs are the important factors that formulate our essence. In the modern world life is usually perceived as a battle, where everyone stands for himself, each one is individualistic, separated from another. Thus, it’s not surprising that we can recognize the flourishing of egoism, a feature, which is generated by this separation.

On the one hand, being individualistic is quite important and even necessary. This lets a person ‘keep one’s head above water’ and get a steady position in life. Seeking maximum personal benefit is not so terrible, if consider that this is a primary goal of everyone, rooted deeply in history. Very often to achieve the necessary result a person must be exactly egoistic, because those around are the same and in such circumstances the best defense is attack. Besides, being self-centered does not only mean doing harm to others to achieve best for oneself. It implies strong persistence, decisiveness, and courage, seemingly, positive features. The point is how to use them and what are the fruits of such a policy? Of course, satisfaction and pride, but is there a place for self-fulfillment and self-respect?

“What do I want to feel afterwards and how do I want to look like?” – is the question that should be asked. Many try to avoid thoughts about their act being unethical or unfair toward someone. People justify themselves with the idea that others would do the same and not care a bit, so why not doing this too? Unfortunately, this is the main pitfall, which makes us all alike. Very often we do not care about others, because think that others do not care about us – a vicious circle, created by humans. No one wants to be ignored or harmed, no one wants to hear inflicting words or be used and then ‘thrown away’.
The proverb “The end justifies the means” is not always useful, especially, if these ‘means’ bring negative consequences. Being altruistic today is difficult, but still possible. People should not forget that they live in a community, where everyone is connected, dependent on and influenced by each others’ decisions and deeds. A society is like a swarm of bees: every member must make his own little, but very important contribution in order for all to survive – help others to help oneself.

There is one great sentence in the Bible that sounds very simply, but has a deep and beautiful nature: “Treat others as you would like to be treated”. The best way is to make this phrase a golden rule of one’s life. I believe that every person has a positive soul, altruistic by its nature, able and willing to do a good, to bring light and joy into the world. The other part of this soul, the egoistic one, is a reflection of the environment we live in, people we see around, beliefs and attitudes. I am sure it is possible to combine altruism and egoism, so that they create one strong and fruitful whole, which allows pursuing own targets while not forgetting about the existence of other members of a society, who also have needs, wants and concerns, the whole which allows us to feel Humans.

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