Do you ever take the time to reflect on your past and think about all the altruistic people in your life? Something that none of us should ever forget and neglect to appreciate are those persons who are responsible for our successes and well-being in life. Many of them have probably already gone to glory, but the mere fact that we can remember those special people and call their names is a good feeling. I am not talking about a mother or a father, rather other family members, friends, strangers, etc. who just took a liking to us and did amazing things to accommodate our needs. We all know that our parents were the ultimate altruistic persons.
An altruistic person is someone who takes pleasure in providing assistance to others and expecting nothing in return. It is said that an altruistic person is one who puts other’s needs and interest before their own.
Now that the COVID pandemic is just about over, it seems as if many people are trying to get over or take advantage of somebody else. It seems appropriate and fitting to remember those who were just good people who wanted to help. We must regain that sense of helping others.
There is a gentleman whose name I shall never forget because he was an altruistic person to many. He should have been a millionaire, but because he was always trying to help others, he missed out on the opportunity before he died. This was a Black man from Anne Arundel County who owned an excavating company and a gas station who befriended me years ago. Can you remember when you did not have the means to complete a task or job, and someone you barely knew bailed you out? Altruistic people are those who you can speak about and call their names with a smile on your face because of their good deeds. Thanks to the Jimmy Holtz’ family, the Spriggs’ family, the Settles, the Rays, the Bobby Edmonds, the Gretta Henry’s, and many others who sacrificed and took a chance on us. Take the time and call out those names that impacted your life in a very positive manner.
Give thought also to those folk who helped you at an early age figure out what avenue to take in life. Teachers, relatives and friends who sacrificed so that we might have the necessities to succeed are altruistic people. Think about those who aided you with your career. The people who did jobs for you and did not charge you what was expected because they knew you were putting forth a concerted effort to do your best with little means.
What about that altruistic person who helped you and had no other agenda or need for praise. They helped you simply out of the kindness of their hearts. Yes, there are still some folks who still fall into being altruistic.
Altruism is taught in the Bible in many of the scriptures. God first commanded us to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 7:12 teaches us: “Do unto others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” Because others have shown altruism to us, we should do the same for others. The New Testament writers admonished Christians to do “nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
A major point to remember is that altruism does not seek recognition or repayment. It is done because of the hearts of those who love God.
If we are followers of Christ, we are called to be altruistic people. John Wesley, founder of Methodism gave us three simple rules: (1) Do no harm, (2) Do good, and (3) Stay in love with God. If we put those rules into practice, we may find ourselves being altruistic people.
May we give thanks to God for giving us the greatest altruistic person we could ever meet, Jesus.
Just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor