Selfish Help


A new evil practice has been prevalent around us for quite some time now. Selfish help is not only diabolical but also difficult to discern. It is an act of helping others only when a personal gain is perceptible. The personal gain could be any immediate reward in terms of money, respect in society or even impressing someone, or it could be a long term profit worth the act being done now.  

People use this odious concept as their basis for helping others, not even realizing that it isn’t the real help at all. Yes not even realizing that they are doing it. This is a typical example of internalising acquired behaviour. Try to fake a behavior for a considerable number of times and soon it will be embedded in you, whereafter you won’t even realize when you’re involuntarily exhibiting that behaviour.

Helping others has become a well weighed decision these days. Instead of simply helping a person in need, there happens a lot of deliberation to determine whether the person gets help or, according to calculations, a nicely framed excuse. Questions like “Will the time spent be worth it?”, “What will I get by helping him?”, “Has he ever helped me?”, “Am I ever going to need him in the future?”, “Will I be able to brag about it?”, and in some situations, “Is someone watching me?” are asked of oneself before helping anyone.

Selfish help, often is given to buy social respect by letting others know of one’s magnanimity. And also, mostly, it is done after weighing whether the person in need can someday be of use.This kind of ‘help’ is like insurance. You’re just paying premiums and expecting a huge amount when the policy matures. Absurd!

Helping others is supposed to be selfless, and the only fruit to be expected out of it should be satisfaction. A lot of people help random strangers at random places with no expectation of personal gain or return. The only thing they get in reward is a smile or a thank you. They are never going to meet the other person again in life. Helping others only because you feel good by doing so is not selfish. But helping others because you feel good by bragging about it is totally selfish. Help and forget. Don’t keep a track of whom you’ve helped and how much you have to take back from them in return.

A lot of reading material is available on helping others. You’ve already read some here. The purpose of this article is not to tell you how to help, but to urge you to introspect and recognize whether the way you are helping others falls under this category. And if it does, you know what to do.