“If you have a purpose of helping others, then why are you helping people that only help themselves?”
That’s a good question. One that I’ve been asking myself lately. There are some definite pros to helping athletes and others who compete. The results are easily measured and so clearly visible. A placement, a rank, a medal. And my contribution can be discerned. But to help someone win competitions implies helping them to focus – on that specific result, to the exclusion of almost everything else. This is the essence of Two Lengths of the Pool when applied to people who compete. To help people focus on competitive results is to help people become more egotistical. Because so many other parts of life and empathy need to go ta make place for that top position. For glory. For The Win.
I help all kinds of people – from athletes to housewives. And that is why I have come to ask myself this question. Because I can compare so many people I’ve helped. And while helping an athlete win gold is really fun, helping someone with a purpose to help others is far more rewarding in the long run – for the person I help. If the person wants to win a competition, I have to help him become more focused, more egotistical. If the person wants to help others, I have to help him to open up and become more empathetic.
This is the moral dilemma inherent in the question. But it’s not quite a rhetorical question, as maybe a balance is needed?
Here’s life from Geir’s point of view:
Not even close to complete or even correct, but it’s a start.
Happiness is not a state.
Happiness is growth.
The derivative of happiness is not zero.
The derivative of happiness is positive energy.
I do talks and speeches to large audiences. I jump up and down, gesticulate and enthusiastically deliver messages on stage. I coach lots of people – from athletes, artists, executives and people off the street. People see me as a highly extrovert personality who loves being in the spotlight and love talking to lots of people.
When Anette got me to answer 20 questions designed to determine if a person is an extrovert or an introvert, I ended up scoring 85% introvert. And it fits perfectly. I am an introvert.
I love being in my own company, doing my own things without interference or external chatter, noise or direction. I love it to bits. Writing books or articles, programming, creating music or digital art, poetry, drawings, stargazing with my telescope or tinkering with my calculator collection. This gives me energy.
While I also love doing stuff on stage and coach people, it takes energy. But I do love that I get exhausted. Thing is – the things that gives energy is my introverted activities. The stuff that cost me energy is my extroverted activities. I still love doing them, but I need my introverted activities to keep me from burning out. It’s just how it is, really. And I like the mix.
I do not fit in the classical introvert category of thinking a lot, planning carefully, keeping a personal distance to others, etc. I’m an impulsive, anarchistic introvert who don’t mind people getting deep under my skin. Bah, the further I try to pin it down, the harder it becomes – almost like Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. Maybe trying pin people down by labelling is both an unhealthy and futile activity. I believe people should remain fluid – much like Bruce Lee once said, “Be water, my friend”.
As long as I can reflect on my reflections, I’ll be OK.
We need to handle our environmental problems, limit the centralization of power, ensure transparency of government and privacy of citizens. The rest will take care of itself.
Recap what Occam’s Razor is by reading my previous blog post on this principle.
The principle has habitually failed to live up to it’s promise as a guide for choosing the right scientific path. Here’s why.
“A Viking looks up at the sky. The dark gray clouds, the thunder and lightning is a sure sign of heavy rain coming. It is also the sure sign of Thor’s anger. We have angered the God of the skies. Or, it is the sure sign of complex physical processes represented with unfathomably complex weather mathematics at play.”
“The universe was created by an all-powerful being that decided to experience. Or, it was created by an incredible fine-tuning of six numbers for what what we have no explanation, allowing for life to evolve in a near impossible improbability with physical processes so complex we cannot see any end to it’s complexity.”
Occam’s Razor tells us to choose the simplest explanation with the fewest assumptions. And before you think that Thor is an improbable assumption, then realize he would be but one assumption as compared to a huge amount of assumptions at play in our current physical models of the weather and the universe at large.
Applying the “scientific” principle of Occam’s Razor, we should perhaps have stayed with the Gods.