Thursday, 20 October 2011

Is altruism real?

Heavy post title huh? But I saw pictures on a blog the other day that I knew within a millisecond would gladden the heart of a blogfriend on the other side of the world so I sent him the link.

I was right, he did love the crafty goodness I pointed at him and told me he had favourited the site. Now I want to share this ace piece of info with the friend who lead me to the pictures but I don't want 
a) her to feel like I am being a bossy old moo who 'clunks' names.
b) put any pressure on the creator of said fabulous crafty goodness by knowing random strangers in a different hemisphere are oohing and aahing over her work.
c) anyone to think I am anticipating thanks and appreciation
At the same time I want the creator to know how well received the crafty goodness was.

On a lesser scale it is the same situation when handing over a baby knit recently. It was for a friend's brand new nephew. No one asked me to do it, I just wanted to make something small bc all babies should be welcomed by as many people as possible. I winged the sizing a bit and wanted to check with the proud aunt today that things fitted. She was effusive in her praise and gratitude and I almost felt like there was an air of me fishing for the compliment.

Do we ever really do things out of the goodness of our hearts or is there always a payoff, even if it is just quietly feeling good about our act/ion?


  1. I often do things just because I want to. Generally there is just a quick thanks, effusive or not and then that is it. I get my kicks from that quick smile. I don't think that is altruistic. We should say thankyou. We should be grateful if someone gives or does something for us. Our mothers would be shocked if we didn't/weren't. So why shouldn't we enjoy and even expect that sort of result when we do something for another? Cherrie

  2. I love to make things and give little surprise gifts, but then I'm always embarrassed when someone makes a fuss over it. I feel like they think I did it just for the attention or something. Doing things for others can often be very sticky!

  3. Wow thats heavy!! I do things just because i want to - i love making presents! Xxxx

  4. Would we perform acts of altruism at all if there was no quiet glow?

    If it is quiet, internal and not boastful then I think that is as it is meant to be.

  5. I think that quiet little internal glow of pleasure we get when we make a random act of kindess is okay... because it happens whether we get thanked or not.