The Battle Cry of the Altruists

When you do things for people that they’re capable of doing themselves, you do great harm to them. It’s the same as telling them: “You’re incapable” — even though they are. By doing the thing for them, you’re taking over their sense of self-determination and autonomy. These things matter. In this crazy age we live in, people scream that “self-esteem” is all that matters, and they use this battle cry as an excuse to do all manner of things for people whether they ask for the help, or not; whether they can do it for themselves, or not; whether it’s truly their own responsibility, or not. When you act in this way, it’s important that you acknowledge at least one thing: This is really all about you. What you call “help” for the sake of another is really your own agenda. The fact that you aren’t conscious of what this agenda is does NOT make it reasonable and rational; and the fact that you refuse to acknowledge that you have your own agenda (“I would never act for my own sake!”) does not change the fact that you do. I know that in our age of altruism and conspicuous compassion that the ever-present commandments are “do for others” and “be supportive.” These are categorical imperatives and they do not answer to reason, facts, logic or objective circumstances. You dare not question them at any time according to the moralists, “spiritualists” and psychological pundits of our era. When all is sacrificed for these things, you’re left with very little.