Helping Others is Selfish
In high school, I compiled a manual on volunteerism. In the introduction, I wrote, “Volunteering is selfless and selfish.”
The advisor, who I still recall fondly, asked me to remove the word 'selfish'. He didn’t think it seemed appropriate.
Years later, I still disagree - you gain a lot for yourself when helping others.
Perspective – Volunteering widens our view, which in turn brings new insights about the world and ourselves.
Skills – You may have new responsibilities, enter a different industry, or handle a completely different role.
Networking – Interacting with others often uncovers unexpected opportunities. You also may make new friends.
Purpose – Especially during a crisis, helping others creates meaning which offsets the malaise of uncertainty.
Fun – You can help around your interests. For example, I volunteered at performances I would have seen anyway.
Right now, it may feel there’s no time to help others when your schedule and mind are preoccupied.
A full schedule is not necessarily a fulfilling life.
In times of great pressure, consider pushing your own boundaries. Helping others is a way to help yourself, too.
Being selfish and acting selfless are not mutually exclusive. Give and grow.