I am always giving you challenges, but now I’m giving myself one. You are more than welcome to join in of course!
I find happiness in growth. Growth in knowledge, growth in social contacts, growth in me as a person. Philosophising is something I have never done on purpose. Of course, sometimes I wonder about things in life, like any other person. But now, I have found a book called ‘The big Think Book’. They tell different stories and ask questions for you to think about.
The next 30 days I will post my thoughts about these issues. I look forward to hearing your point of view in these matters.
The first philosophical question
Is it possible to do anything that is not, in some way, self-interested?
(please bare in mind that this is my point of view and that doesn’t make it the truth) There are two different ways of doing things: 1) you do something, and you want to have a clear reward 2) you do something, but you will not accept an reward of any kind. I’ll give myself as an example. I made a movie called ‘Homanje’ for the Dutch Cancer Society. All profits from the film go to charity. Regarding money, I didn’t want to be rewarded myself. Some people say it’s a very noble, unselfish thing to do. But if you think about, it is not. I started this project to cope with the loss of my grandmother. I didn’t want any other family to go through such a messy time as we did. When I finished the movie, I felt relieved, not sad anymore, and able to move on. I even got a job at a media company so I could continue my journey as a director. So doing something to help others gave me a lot as well. Even though it wasn’t my intention to get something out of it myself, it did. Still, I did something good for charity, so it’s a weird kind of selfishness.
A smaller thing is when I helped a little kid to find her mother when I was walking around a very busy local market. I searched with her for half an hour, until we found her. Her mother was so happy, and that made my day amazing. I could smile the whole day. So, again, I did something for someone else, but I felt so good about my action. Again, it was not my intention to get something out of it; I did it because I saw a little girl crying and I felt sorry for her. But in the end, I felt fantastic myself as well because now, I never have to think about that girl again being all sad. A “thank you” from the mother and a smile from the little girl was enough of a reward.
In conclusion; I don’t think it is possible to do something with no agenda at all. That doesn’t mean you are a selfish person; it means you are human.
How do you feel about this? Let me know in the comments!