My dear friend Matt Leathwood sent me this response to my Selfish Altruism post: 'Does anyone do anything for free? Doing something for someone else makes most of us feel good about ourselves..... The pay off is the apparent altruism. It's the true sign of goodness when we do things for other people without the bells and whistles of praise.... Silent givers are indeed kings amongst men.'
Touche, Matt! What's interesting is the role habit plays in all this as well. If we get on a roll of being altruistic, perhaps it becomes our default and we can, without ego, make that our life's preset.
But more so than FREE, like Matt says, it's about doing good because it's good, not because you will be praised for it. We can all do a lot worse than feeling good about doing good.
If praise for altruism makes altruism your default setting, we'll all take it over the alternative.
P.s. If you ever have a thought, critique, idea, or contribution, after reading my posts - hit reply! Hell, I might even share it with everyone else!