Altruism (n): the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others
I hear lots of people talking about altruism like it’s this elusive behavior or characteristic that people should constantly strive to embody or employ. People feel guilty for not being altruistic, like it’s something we’re supposed to naturally know how to do or be. You hear people saying things like this all the time: “I know I should be practicing altruism and everything, but I’m just really mad at her,” or “it’s so hard to be altruistic when he’s being such an ass.”
Are we supposed to just come out of the womb knowing how to battle all of the animosity, selfishness, competition, and jealousy we feel? Are we supposed to understand how to feel happy for someone when it goes against every instinct we have?