So imagine building something from the ground up for over a decade and you’ve only gotten so far, when you’re suddenly asked to team up with a group of other people who haven’t even managed to dig the ground to lay in their foundations and with only so much time, you’re called to help them with helping them lay their foundations and while at first the idea of being altruistic has its appeal, the reality does not quite live up to the picture especially when many of them practically lean back and watch you do their job for them–partly due to ignorance, partly due to complacence, and partly due to irresponsibility.

The idea of selflessness looks good on paper but it almost seems to border negligence of one’s own affairs when one can’t realistically take care of two things at the same time. It is at this moment when one tows the line between selflessness and selfishness–to look after oneself first or to help others at one’s own risk or look out for one’s own best interest. It seems so easy to work out on paper–with all the self-help literature out there about being a good soul and helping others, but it’s not as easy to make the same choices in real life, when one has toiled alone for so long in building something from the ground up–and there is still so much to do.

Granted, these others have not had the experience of laying their foundations yet and are in sore need for someone to show them the way–even down to holding a shovel and such, what type of cement to pour, and what wood to be used. To them, the little foundation that you have built seems to be a monument compared to their raw patch of land in need of tilling and the question remains–is it really you’re business or duty to help them when they cannot help themselves out of a unique blend of their own flaws and ignorance, and after they have caused you so much trouble–taking time away from your own precious building project. Do you really have that much time, effort, and energy to spare to hone them–and, should you?

(c) Niconica 2012

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