Running head: ALTRUISM 5
Altruism refers to the genuine and selfless concern for the well-being of others. It stems from a personal interest of doing well and seeing others excel and do well in their tasks. My chosen path to express altruism was participating in various volunteer groups around my home area to help young disadvantaged children have a better life in terms of availing my time, resources and giving them a sense of love by playing and spending time with them. My family defines true happiness as the feeling derived from spending time with loved ones, sharing material things and experiences. This has contributed to what I think of altruism; and hence I view altruism as a source of happiness, which is the feeling resulting from seeing disadvantaged children succeed in school and in achieving their ultimate career aspirations.
What Prompted Me to Pick the Service?
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I picked this area of service for one key reason. The achievement of my personal and academic short-term and long-term goals is the primary source of my happiness. Being a student, the greatest challenge at this point in life is maintaining good grades consistently in academic organizations, and ultimately succeeding in my field of specialization. As I progress up the academic ladder, the demand to excel increases. This threatens to decrease happiness during the struggle to maintain a balance between academics and personal life, and conform to the stipulated academic standards. However, when good grades become incentives to the hard work and effort maintained throughout the semester, they instill an immense feeling of happiness within me. I came to the discovery that there are so many children out there who are just like me and have similar dreams. They, however, are not lucky enough to have my experience and resources, and hence may not have a chance to achieve their dreams. Similarly, the excellence of these children in their academic endeavors creates a sense of satisfaction, especially since it is a positive indicator that education is also a benefactor to them. It is the main reason why I picked this area of service.
What Emotions did I Experience before, during and after the Project?
Volunteering at the childrens home has become an essential part of my life. Interacting, playing and sharing with young children created an avenue for using the skills I have gathered in my field of expertise to make a change in other peoples lives. This experience made me very happy. Sharing with the small children creates exposure to an entirely new realm of imagination, where I learn of the different dreams and aspiration that dominate the childrens thoughts of the future. This gave me a feeling of self-accomplishment. Before visiting the home and volunteering, I was so self-reserved and caught up in my own life and social obligations. I felt incomplete as everyday seemed like a routine that involved friends and constant addiction to social networking. There was no feeling of self-worth or accomplishment in any of those things. Spending time volunteering however helped change this feeling. Some children aspire to be Olympic champions, pilots, ship captains, teachers, neurosurgeons, cardiologists and have virtually limitless career aspirations. The time spent in the home is productive. This experience reinforces the personal trait of kindness, determination and humility. I have learnt that the greatest joy in my life springs from selflessly making a positive change in someones life and mine as well. And this gives me a great feeling of pride even days after completing the project.
What Did I Gain from This Project?
I gained a lot from the project. I learnt that positive social interactions serve as another effective mechanism of achieving altruism and deriving maximum satisfaction from events in my life. At some point in my life, I feel that interacting with the wrong people may have been consequential in my lack of satisfaction with my life. This is common especially in high school, where some close friends had little or no regard for academic reference, and lacked definite career goals. Interacting with these people ultimately led to laxity and sloppiness in academic performance. I am focused on a membership founded on visions, and commitment to doing good deeds and addressing issues affecting students and society in general. I also plan to contribute more to society and help others so as to build true altruism.
In what Areas of Life do I See True Altruism or is there such Thing as True Altruism.
I see true altruism in my day to day relationship with my parents. My parents are the most prominent source of inspiration in life. Parents are a unique group in society because of the biological relation that binds them to me and other children. They are loving and supportive and readily offer assistance in times of problems, alongside constant encouragement. When the academic journey gets tough, my parents remind me my efforts have brought me this far, and I should continue in the same spirit, despite the persistent challenges. They are also keen to highlight the fact that they were at the same level as me a few years back and made it through successfully, and I am a result of their accomplishments in life. This is a major boost to my confidence and optimism and I think is an example of true altruism.
What could be a Simple Act of Altruism You could do Every Day?
An act that shows true altruism, which I can do daily, is emptying trash can for our old next-door neighbor. Mr. Harnandez is a senior citizen and I believe it would be both wonderful and selfless to help him empty his trash can every day. This, I believe, is a simple act of altruism which I can accomplish every day.
Pictures of the Project
a. Outdoor sessions with the kids where we played various outdoor games
b. Some of the kids at the home taking some time to rest after various outdoor games
c. Group photo with some of the team members
d. Who said childrens smiles are not the key to world peace?