Why do we feel guilty when we don’t help and do something for others? Ignoring that friend’s message when we know he needs us but we don’t have the energy for it. When we promised to do something for someone, but those dishes really need washing. The time to do it is there, but we just can’t be bothered to get it started. When there is no obvious benefit for us.
It is a transaction, with a different currency indeed, but still a transfer of resoure. Our time, skill, energy for what? For someone else that is not giving us anything back? Why even bother.
Recently Andra was ill and trying to fall asleep but struggling at 1am. A group of students were under the bedroom window shoutig and laughing. I went out to ask them to stop and they appologised and disperced (I was trully surprised). But there was one of them, while walking away he shouted “I am not sorry!”. It made me think, why did he have the need to show me I had not reached his heart and he was independent. He didn’t feel like he belonged, the transaction was empty for him, he would just lose from it. So why do it?
Some of us do stuff for others because we want to feel like if we needed the same, there would be someone out there willing to give it. But i think it is deeper than that. The only reason such a giving, a transaction would make sense is if it gives us something back. Belonging.
Being part of something bigger than oneself is the deepest, most unmeasureable resource you can have. It is the ultimate driving force and unbreakable motivator. People die for such things. In a situation, where you give what you have for the belief that you belong to something bigger than yourself, you are not giving but recieving. Recieving the confirmation and reafirmation that it is true. In a sense it recharges your belief and you get more out of it than you give. You feel more confident that you are indeed part of something more than your individual interests and dreams. This is powerful and many of us nowadays do not have that conviction, we drift empty and without a foundation, seeing the needs of others as our own demise. Similar to the guy that shouted back, we want to disengage, to strengthen our independence in the belief that we are showing strength, but in fact we simply manifest how lost and aimless we have become.
Doing things for others, shouldn’t be about looking good, what others will say and because it is expected. All those reasons might make you do something for others, but are an empty transaction that can deplete you. Instead, belonging, connection, being part of something bigger is where the true strength lies and only you can see whether it is there or not.
It’s also known as love.