It has been awhile—writing in the midst of all of “it” is difficult. Having time to drink a second cup of coffee and not rush into the classroom, sit on my screen porch is helping me resolve some conflict inside my heart. What I write is for me and it helps me to process, move forward into the “it” that has become my life. So here are the current rumblings—–
Altruism vs. Egoism something I have been pondering as I check my motives in accomplishing “it”. Why am I so passionate about “it”? Why am I putting so much time and effort into “it”? What is truly motivating me? This week of Spring Break is time to sit back and take an honest look at what is in my heart—am I following a true calling or am I following my ego?
1. Altruism defined by Wikipedia:
” Much debate exists as to whether “true” altruism is possible. The theory of psychological egoism suggests that no act of sharing, helping or sacrificing can be described as truly altruistic, as the actor may receive an intrinsic reward in the form of personal gratification. The validity of this argument depends on whether intrinsic rewards qualify as “benefits.”
2. Ethical Egoism defined by Wikipedia:
“Egoism and altruism both contrast with ethical utilitarianism, which holds that a moral agent should treat one’s self (also known as the subject) with no higher regard than one has for others (as egoism does, by elevating self-interests and “the self” to a status not granted to others). But it also holds that one should not (as altruism does) sacrifice one’s own interests to help others’ interests, so long as one’s own interests (i.e. one’s own desires or well-being) are substantially equivalent to the others’ interests and well-being.”
Questions I need to resolve before moving forward with “it”–using Prayer, Mediation, soul searching and the above sited definitions:
When I volunteer for NonProfit organizations that benefits youth with disabilities, work outside the scope of my job description as a Public School teacher, to open the door to “it” for youth with disabilities ; am I doing the work for” it” out of true giving for the wellbeing of another? Or am I doing to for ” it” from my own ego–to feel better about myself, to detract from what I need to do to take care of me?
When I say yes —Why am I saying yes? Do I really feel called, is “it” something God wants me to do, or am I just saying yes because “it” is what others think I should do?
I do not want to be one of those people who do things for the feel good moment. I want to be in “it” for the duration, to stick to the commitment even when “it” is hard, to do what is needed to be done when no one is watching. I do not want the commitment to become a have to or just one more thing on the to do list. I want to feel the joy, and have “it” be fun.
Conflict seems to prevail in Non Profit organizations and also in the Public School system. Dedication to rise above conflict and to stay the course has always been something I have been able to muster. Systems and the Policies have always been something I can work inside of, jump through hoops and over barriers to make things happen does not bother me. For youth with disabilities, an advocate is needed to remove systematic barriers for them, so they have the opportunities to succeed. It takes energy, passion and constant research to “learn” the system, and once that is accomplished the person with disabilities takes off! and accomplishes “it”! Inside of all the energy to make “it” happen I have found find fun and joy–to know that something good is being accomplished.
But lately, the fun has not been there— conflicts have taken the place of the people for whom I have been working for, opening doors for the “it” that is benefiting them. Resolving the conflicts has taken time and energy away from the peeps I love. I am not “with” them–and I do not like that.
Therefore I am searching my soul and pondering what action I need to take in order to change this feeling inside of me. Do I need to remove myself from the conflicting situations? Maybe by removing myself the conflicts will be resolved—my emotions, my ego and my opinions may be the catalyst that is causing the conflicts to become more important then “it” and the peeps it benefits. I am not stating this from the victim role—just an observation from some meditative thoughts.
It is important that we all do a self check and ask deep questions of the heart–hard questions that we may not like the answer to. In that place of self honesty is where I will grow. It is where God’s mission and vision will become clear. Spring is a time of rebirth. During this week of Spring Break I am going to follow the rebirth of “it” that is stirring inside of me, Self Checking to be sure that “it” is God’s will and I am not mixing my ego into what He wants.
“Have the courage to go beyond other people’s rules and expectations. I pray that you will live and write your own story and then be brave enough to communicate it authentically to others. people will be inspired by it, people will learn from it, and people will have the courage to change their own lives because of the example you have set.” Eunice Kennedy Shriver