I seldom believe that a person's motivations stem from anything but self need. Even Mother Theresa needed something. I'm not sure what... but her motivation to be the saint she was stemmed from some place of emptiness... of a self that needed to be recognized by God, by others... by something. Ultimately, I don't believe in altruism. It is a human contrivance used to try to mask our selfishness.
See. I'm bad.
I like to watch my dogs because they are so unabashed about their selfishness. Ernie and Hazel love each other, I think--or they love each other in the dog version of that--but they will nevertheless steal eachother's food, or hog the best place in their shared crate, or jump all over me in jealously and desperation when I pay any attention to the other. Kids are somewhat like this, as well. They wear their selfishness in the open, at least until they ripen to the point of understanding they must hide their selfish desires in favor of appearing "human."
Except it's human to watch out first for self. It's human to be selfish. If it weren't human to be selfish, our species would have died out a long time ago. Species simply do not last the cold indifference of evolution if they are altruistic. It just doesn't work. So what is actually human is our playing at altruism... at care.
This is not to say that humans don't experience care. They do. It's just that care does not stop most of us from moving onward with our lives in the face of world tragedy, for example. I felt horror watching videos of the Tsunami wreckage in Japan. And then I went to Starbucks and got myself a latte and thought about who knows what: my upcoming race, what I needed at the grocery store, whether I had enough time to walk the dogs before I got the kids off the bus.. And I don't think this makes me a bad person. I think it makes me a human person.
Naked I came into this world, naked I shall go out of it. And a very good thing too, for it reminds me that I am naked under my shirt, whatever its colour.
(That's E.M. Forster. He's a smart dude.)
Why the hell am I writing about this? It is certainly not uplifting. It is jaded. And I know many of you are thinking I have it all wrong. That I need to, perhaps, study Jesus. That humans are not animals and were designed separately... uniquely...
I'm not really having an existential crisis. I'm not.
Really I'm just trying to make myself feel okay about my life and my choices. So it's all about me. Of course. ;)
Because this post is such a boring downer and only written so I can blab and get my jaded self some air time... I will end it with some down-to-earth regular tri-blog fare.
- I had a smokin' run today. And then I got on the bike to do these really hard intervals and I nearly keeled over and died trying to do them. And if I did die? You would feel this pang! And then you would go get a latte... (oops, sorry. still being jaded.)
- I'm trying to figure out my game plan for Boston. The only plan I have is to P.R. I just don't don't know how I'm going to do that yet.
- I'm going to ride outside on Saturday morning even if it's 20 below zero. I'm done with the trainer. DONE! But I have watched several seasons of Desperate Housewives. Excellent show, I must say. Many a crisis to put my own crises in perspective.
Have a great weekend!