Nov 2, 2013

Selfless good deeds & what of them

In a conversation i was having earlier i found myself saying the following "There is no such thing as a selfless good deed, everything we do is selfish and that is not a negative thing."

As the conversation got deeper and as we explored where this thought came from, i found that i had so many questions and points, that were not necessarily backing up my point but also contradicting it. So i rushed back home to write..

The background of the conversation was the surge of the million and one thoughts  i got as my brain rushed into warp speed trying to digest 'The Fifth Estate' (i will be posting a review of that later, PS: F*ck you Daniel Burg"

We were debating the possibility of being presented with a situation; if you could have the power to sacrifice the lives of a few to spare the population, would you? or would you rather sacrifice no one? or should anyone ever have such power?

I blindly said yes to the first question, and if i was to be one of those sacrificed to save the masses i would do it. But is that a selfless good deed? Or would i be doing it fully knowing that i will be saving the lives of millions, therefor making it totally selfish?

Detach yourself from the negative connotation you have with the word selfish for a minute and think of it as follows; if you do something that benefits everyone and you along with them, bringing you joy and content that in itself reflects on you and can be contributed as self-ish

The following took place literally minutes ago and i can NOT begin to tell you how much this f*cked up my entire thought process on the matter.


  • Define a good deed
A good deed is generally an act you do willingly to befit others, however let's look at it in a different light. If you do something to save someone, or to make someone happy or if it affects someone in any way shape or form and can come back to affect you in a positive matter, does that still make it selfless? 

  • Why are good deeds selfish
Simply because you do it so you can feel better about yourself. It can be anything from helping someone out to devoting your life in its entirety to serving God. All scenarios would lead to your personal satisfaction whether in this life or the after-life.

  • Does that mean no one does good with no ulterior motive
This is where i realized that my line of thought can possibly be tainted. As a self proclaimed cynic and as someone who's been through far too much to take things for granted i can safely tell you that i think twice if not thrice about everything and that, my friends, is very taxing on my mental capabilities to interpret good deeds. As in, i will unfortunately wonder why someone is being nice as apposed to take it for what it is, and as far as i'm concerned, karma will play a huge role in determining your daily contributions to the world. 

With that said, and as my dear confidant pointed out, it is a harsh and grim way to look at things. But is it wrong? 

Is it wrong to assume that people will do 'good' things to score higher on the spiritual scale of life? And is it wrong to assume that people will help you out, because karma? Is it also wrong to assume that if you don't do your part you will live with guilt and 'what-if'?

  • Do we do good because we should or because we can
Assuming a situation occurs where you CAN help out but don't, for whatever reason, are you a bad person or just a busy person? Now Assume a situation where you WANT to help but can't, for whatever reason, is that ok? Now assume a situation where you help because you should and because that's how you were taught, does that make it sincere or simply convenient?


That leaves me to wonder, do i have a point? Or am i looking at life with tainted glasses and need a serious reality check? Have my trust issues managed to get the best of me to the point where i don't believe in non-instigated human kindness anymore  


Till i find my peace, i would love to hear yours.