Instead of looking at the good, uplifting aspects of helping and how great human beings are to each other, I decided to focus on one of the negative aspects of the chapter. Although only mentioned briefly, I’d like to explore the topic of Egoism. Egoism is the act of doing things with the underlying motive to increase
others your own benefit or welfare. The book also describes it as the opposite of altruism – so it is basically doing things to help yourself. Is that so wrong?!
The first example I thought of was the infamous moment from the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. If you haven’t seen it, check it out below!
In this instance, Kanye decided to rush the stage, possibly to congratulate Taylor before she gets up there? No, because that would be altruistic. Instead, he proceeded to discuss how Beyonce deserved the award. Although that could have been a bit altruistic, he could have mentioned that at another time or in an interview later. Instead, Kanye wanted all eyes on him – doing something to increase his own popularity and thus welfare. Unfortunately, it backfired, and Kanye went on to be hated by the general public for awhile, and Taylor continued to be successful. Oops!
Sorry, Kanye. Maybe help someone else out next time?