Altruism

I will help others without hoping for rewards for myself

Altruism is the selfless ability and willingness to help others without expecting reward, recognition, or support in return. Humans demonstrate altruistic behaviour because we are social beings who depend on each other. Parents take care of babies until they are able to fend for themselves, just as you may care for a sibling or grandparent who needs assistance. When we behave altruistically, we increase each other’s chances to survive and thrive. We build a stronger society.

Activity 1 – Family

List the ways members of your family act altruistically towards each other (i.e. do things that make the lives of others in the family better and raise their morale.) When you see your family members acting altruistically, don’t forget to thank them for what they do. Are there some things you could do to make your family life better for other members?

Activity 2 – School

List acts of altruism that you have seen in school, by other children/students, by teachers and other staff. When you see acts of altruism, don’t forget to acknowledge them and say thank you. Is there something you could do that would help to make your school better?

Activity 3 – Community

Are there some simple things that could be done in your community around the school, that would improve life for people? Students in one school decided they would visit frail, old people to see what they could do to help them? Is there something you could arrange with your school friends?

You will find more ideas in the Service and Participation section.


Everyone must decide whether to walk in the light of creative altruism
or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


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