There are people who are characterized by their generosity towards others, while others stand out for their selfishness. The former practice altruism. The word altruism comes from the French word altrui, which means “of the other”. Altruism
A general profile of the altruistic individual
It is a person who thinks about others and not just about himself. Therefore, he is an empathetic individual who is usually willing to help those in need.
As a general rule, it acts in a disinterested way, that is, it does not seek benefit in exchange for a generous action. It is very likely that the altruistic person acts out of love for others or out of some kind of belief or moral values . Altruism
Examples from everyday life
The student who helps his peers with schoolwork is a clear example of a selfless person. The same happens with those people who collaborate in a disinterested or voluntary way with social entities. Missionaries who work with downtrodden peoples and in extreme circumstances are unmistakably altruistic.
Are we altruistic or selfish?
There is no definitive answer on this question. If we take into account that all living beings fight for their survival, humans are selfish. However, it is evident that certain behaviors move away from the struggle for survival and focus on the benefit of others. Altruism
Altruism has a paradoxical component, as disinterested action can hide a dose of selfishness. So, when I help my neighbor to make a change, I can think that in return I will get a certain benefit, for example, when I need it I can ask him for a favor or I will simply feel good for having helped.
in the animal kingdom
Altruism also exists among animals. In this sense, the dolphin is an animal that has a disinterested behavior , as it helps others of its species when they are attacked or when they are in danger. Some reptiles create cooperative structures to protect their natural space. The behavior of elephants and gorillas also includes generous attitudes. Some bats regurgitate the blood from their prey to offer their foodless counterparts. Altruism
The examples given above express that animals have feelings of empathy for other members of their species. In the case of dogs, their degree of empathy is focused on humans, as they are able to sacrifice their lives to help their owners and not let them run into any danger. Altruism