Altruism Reconsidered

Olivia Pierson has done it again, delivered another sparkling piece of insightful writing on a subject of immense importance: altruism. It is one of mankind’s great tragedies that this word has been so greatly misunderstood, and consequently caused so much misery. First coined by French philosopher Auguste Comte in the 19th century, altruism is: “the principle and moral practice of concern for happiness of other human beings…” At first glance its definition appears to mean benevolence and goodwill toward others. Unfortunately, as this excerpt from her essay indicates, its full meaning is quite different:

“One can only ask: if all human life is valuable, including our own, why is it so often considered noble to sacrifice our own happiness, resources, goals and desires for the sake of other people?

Please read and seriously ponder this very important contribution of Pierson’s. The issue it addresses is causing destruction everywhere in our world today. To begin reversing that destruction its full meaning MUST be understood. Pierson’s offering here is an outstanding step forward in achieving that understanding.