I have a growing feeling that we can do more in the category of altruism. And if we did, how would the world change?
There is a saying that goes something like this: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It’s a really great quote and something that I need to personally remind myself of more often.
(Sidebar tangent: I had always thought the above quote was attributed to Mahatma Gandhi. After doing some internet research, I found that maybe the quote should probably be credited to Arleen Lorrance.)
I woke early this morning with a feeling. Part of the feeling has hints of discontentment. A bit of urge to do more. Or maybe a better way to describe the feeling is do something different. Change.
How does this all relate to altruism?
The other day I was in this discussion about a project. I have been working with a few others on this project for a couple months. We have been making decent progress towards a goal. One of the elements involves collaborating with a strategic partner who has built out some phenomenal assets that we can leverage. Our plan has been to simply help make these assets more well known within the industry. A rising tide lifts all boats.
I was providing an update on the project to some other colleagues. In doing so, it was suggested that we should be more money focused and should insist upon establishing a revenue sharing model with the partner. Upon hearing this, I had an immediate visceral reaction that bubbled and gurgled deep within my gut. I was baffled and somewhat incredulous. My knee jerk response was that I did not want any part of that type of approach.
Yes, it’s fair to say this sort of triggered me. The notion of financially benefitting from the hard work of another seemed so greedy. I talked it out with my fiancee (who is such a great sounding board–THANK YOU). I parked the idea in the back of my brain and suspect my subconscious mind worked on it for a bit. I slept on it.
The following day, I did feel a bit conflicted. On one hand, we have been working with this partner towards a certain common goal and objective. On the other hand, my business colleagues had a revenue twist that they felt adamant about incorporating. I decided to send a note to the partner simply asking how he felt about revenue sharing. He philosophically thought it made sense; we’ll discuss specifics with him later this week.
So why was I triggered?
I think it’s because the colleagues who suggested the strong interest in sharing in revenue off the back of the hard work that the partner had completed felt like the opposite of my earlier experiences from these folks. These colleagues, at least through my lens, once upon a time emphasized the importance of giving and providing education and information. These colleagues, at least through my lens, once upon a time exuded the importance of altruism.
Yet this twist felt like exactly the opposite of altruism.
Why do I feel like altruism is important? Why do I feel like it is lost?
In the current world, there seems to be a lot of pain, frustration, anxiety, etc., etc. There are multiple sides, factions, and conflicting points of view. And each of the different perspectives and opinions are not open and tolerant of other points of view. We are NOT listening to one another. Instead, we are quick to dig deep, hold our ground, and fight with others just to be right. Our egos are way out of control and way too big for our own britches.
Why does everything have to be my way or it’s wrong?
What happened to tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness? What happened to love?