Friday, March 13, 2009

My Subconscious Altruism Yardstick

Suppose you live the whole of your life as follows:
  • You're an honest person: you don't cheat, you don't lie
  • You went to college to expand your range of knowledge after high school
  • You get a job doing honest work after college. You end up leaving the job because there are some things you're asked to do that you consider to be borderline fraud. You continue your search until you find a number of business concerns whose values line up with your own and you have a fulfilling career doing stuff you're passionate about.
  • You have a few really good friends and you really understand each other deeply. You're glad they exist and vice versa. They're people you admire. They take care of themselves, and never get themselves into trouble.
  • You are happy. Your life is full.
What is absent:
  • Though you've helped your friends in minor ways through the years, you didn't go out of your way to help people in need.
  • You never donated to charity.
  • You never volunteered for Network Engineers without Borders (or Greenpeace).
  • There are still starving people in Africa.
  • You don't intend to do any of these and you don't feel a bit guilty about it. You are not your brother's keeper.
The Question
  • Would you call this life a success or a failure?