5 comments on “Great Expectations

  1. She said:
    Sacrifice? I do not want sacrifice.

    Ayn Rand said it well:

    When you are in love, it means that the person you love is of great personal, selfish importance to you and to your life. If you were selfless, it would have to mean that you derive no personal pleasure or happiness from the company and the existence of the person you love, and that you are motivated only by self-sacrificial pity for that person’s need of you. I don’t have to point out to you that no one would be flattered by, nor would accept, a concept of that kind. Love is not self-sacrifice, but the most profound assertion of your own needs and values. It is for your own happiness that you need the person you love, and that is the greatest compliment, the greatest tribute you can pay to that person.

  2. She said:
    Here’s another:

    Concern for the welfare of those one loves is a rational part of one’s selfish interests. If a man who is passionately in love with his wife spends a fortune to cure her of a dangerous illness, it would be absurd to claim that he does it as a “sacrifice” for her sake, not his own, and that it makes no difference to him, personally and selfishly, whether she lives or dies. Any action that a man undertakes for the benefit of those he loves is not a sacrifice if, in the hierarchy of his values, in the total context of the choices open to him, it achieves that which is of greatest personal (and rational) importance to him. In the above example, his wife’s survival is of greater value to the husband than anything else that his money could buy, it is of greatest importance to his own happiness and, therefore, his action is not a sacrifice. But suppose he let her die in order to spend his money on saving the lives of ten other women, none of whom meant anything to him—as the ethics of altruism would require. That would be a sacrifice. Here the difference between Objectivism and altruism can be seen most clearly: if sacrifice is the moral principle of action, then that husband should sacrifice his wife for the sake of ten other women. What distinguishes the wife from the ten others? Nothing but her value to the husband who has to make the choice—nothing but the fact that his happiness requires her survival.

  3. He said:
    As I wrote in the beginning…this is what Scott Adams believes is true.
    Ayn Rand has an equally persuasive and convincing point of view, which again does not make it entirely true, even though it is logical.

    Again…most women don’t want conditional sacrifice…they don’t want to feel indebted.

    A friend of mine has seen so many things go wrong with love that she now believes that love is tainted…that love is entirely conditional…that now love is degenerated to a crude and inequitable barter system.

    Women definitely don’t want men to sacrifice for the sake of gain…

    I recently read an article in a magazine which was titled “Kindness is not Love” , which again follows similar arguments like the one you have presented.
    Even Oskar Schindler was not what Steven Spielberg portrayed him to be.

    The author goes on by writing that Kind people are often gratitude collectors.

    Even C.S.Lewis writes in his book “The Problem of Pain” that “there is a kindness in love, but love and kindness are not coterminous.Kindness, when it is separated from from the other elements that are present in true love, is indifferent to its object.Kindness (alone) does not truly care if the object becomes good or bad ,providing it escapes suffering”

    I don’t know where to categorise my recent action, but let me just tell it…
    I was in the bangalore airport, waiting for my connecting flight to mangalore.I had reached bangalore at 2200 and my next flight was at 0730 next day.
    I was forced to sit in the waiting lobby with all my luggage because I could not check in until an hour before departure.
    I was mostly alone…but after two hours a lady came from and sat in front of me.
    She was in the same plight-stuck with luggage and tired with lack of sleep.
    She looked uncomfortable and she was looking here and there , as if she wanted help.But she never talked to me (I hadn’t had a haircut for 8 months and I was looking like a crazy serial killer)
    So finally after some time I went up to her and introduced myself , told her my flight timings and told her that she could ask me if she needed something..that even if she wanted to go to the bathroom she could leave her luggage with me and go.
    She was frankly surprised but she accepted, and later went away many times when her luggage was under my supervision.
    What made me do this?
    I wasn’t gaining anything from what I did…I was putting myself in an awkward position by actually going upto her and introducing myself.
    What if she thought I was coming on to her ? (She was a lady in her fifties)

    I wanted to help her because I thought She might need it.
    My parents have taught me by example to help others when they need it without any wants of gains in returns.

    I also did the same with another man who came after a few hours.
    The man and I talked about our journey and I even lent him my cell phone to make a call because he had lost his in brazil.
    I was sure that I’d never see them again in my life.I didn’t even ask for their names.
    I was not doing it to feel good.
    Going upto that woman and telling her that she could ask my help was very scary. I didn’t like doing it, but I had to.

    Is that altruism, or am I just another selfish ‘Gratitude Collector’?

  4. She said:
    I’m tempted to say (and here I am saying it) from what I know about you that you were being who you are – you are altruistic or some form of that. But here’s the rub: it’s part of you so much that you won’t be able to stand it if you knew you could help and you didn’t. So yes, you helped a stranger, but part of you also wanted to placate the inner demon.

    Me.. I don’t know anymore. I’d like to think I’m one of those soul-less creatures who still do superficially useful activities for no other reason other than I’m waiting to be dead. My only moral objective is I do it because I can, and destruction is just too much work. (Obviously I’m saying this because it sounds cool but I’m really an emotional sap.) (Sunday mornings – what to do with them eh?)

  5. He said:
    I never questioned my motives until now…but then something that someone said changed everything.
    I did it because If i didn’t I would feel crappy (or as Ms.J so eloquently put it, Placate my inner demon!)

    I consider myself a good guy who’d never intentionally harm someone else, but someone wrote on the contrary, using some very harsh words.

    I’m still shaken up…and now I analyse my actions to see if I have any hidden ulterior motives.
    If I find them, then I’m usually conflicted.

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