Thursday, 22 September 2011


Back in 2007, when I started having real anxiety attacks about what was happening, becoming pysically ill, worrying about the future and subsequently making real changes to my life that better fit into this reality (ie. my non-flying stance), one of my really good friends, who to some extent doubted how real this phenomenon was, and likened it to a sci-fi catastrpohe movie that people were integrating into their lives, ultimately called me an altruist.

He called me that, because in some moment of clarity and deep friendship, he realized that real or not, climate change was affecting me, and I was going to do my bit counteracting that. Now, I'd like to think that I were solely doing this for the greater good! A true altruist, according to the definition, is strictly unselfish. I'd love to say that about myself in my whole solastalgia/climate worrier context, but I must admit, I'm doing this for myself as much as for everyone else!

Since this whole personal phenomenon was brought about my motherhood (mostly, although admittedly I've worried about global warming since the 80s), you could say I'm worrying about my children's future. I'm worried about them, where they will live, if they will have food to eat, if they will be free to live full lives akin to the lives of their parents and grandparents. I fear they will not, which is what motivates me. What also motivates me is my own well-being.

Seeing as I can hardly get through a day without having a knot in my belly over this, and that whatever I write here, or talk about with others helps me get rid of the knot, and that helps me on a personal level, then I'm not a true altruist then, am I? And in this manner, I doubt that there are many true altruists out there at all, not to say that a great many people are genuinely concerned with the well-being of others that they aren't directly connected to, I think the drive to help these people is found in the purpose of alleviating one's own qualms about not doing anything to help.

So speaking for myself, altruism is a cover. A cover of doing something selflessly for the greater good, that just boils down to heeding one's own personal affect. And that's just fine by me.

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