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Effective altruism combines both heart and head

Balance heart and brain
Balance heart and brain
Heart and Brain by Laura Botelho via

Thursday, August 7, 2014: Today was meant for poets, artists, dreamers, those championing the underdog... for people who work in bars or frequent them... or for anything that doesn't require too much physical labor.

Still it's a get down to business day. Creative energy is in the air ... so don't try to escape or run away... get into the flow and work to find creative solutions to conflicts and problems. Don't engage in passive aggressive behavior. Be as straightforward as possible in all dealings... respect other people’s boundaries... and expect others to respect yours.

Today's a mixed blessing. It offers imagination, inspiration, creativity, spirituality, compassion and the urge to serve on the one hand, but on the other, self-deception, muddled motives, self-sacrifice, martyrdom and escapism are also possible. And this could put you on slippery ground. So... be realistic, combine heart with head... and don't be so driven by altruistic and spiritual goals, that they temporarily blind you.

Most often our human capacity for self sacrifice and altruism are seen as positive traits, but keep in mind that both can be either good or bad.

Everyday life is filled with small acts of altruism, from the guy at the grocery store who kindly holds the door open as you rush in from the parking lot... to the woman who gives twenty dollars to a homeless man. The evening news stories often focus on grander cases of altruism... the generous donor who gives thousands of dollars to a local charity or the man who dives into an icy river to rescue a drowning stranger.

Altruism often causes people to sacrifice their own health and well-being... And... if take to the extreme... even their life and the lives of others. Yes... altruistic suicide, altruistic martyrdom and altruistic murder are a reality? There are two side to every coin. Self-sacrifice and altruism can have destructive consequences... both in the greater world and in your personal life.

Today's Quote

Altruism and terrorism may not be words we commonly associate with one another, but the actions of al-Qaeda are very much a logical consequence of a philosophy that preaches the nobility of self-sacrifice. Altruism is the fuel that motivates young and foolish men everywhere to fight wars and commit senseless acts of violence in the blind interests of dogmatic leaders. Terrorists are self-sacrificial animals, ones who are quicker to tie their own nooses than most; that is what makes them such banes of society, and that is what makes them one of the best examples of the destructive consequences of an altruistic mentality. ~ author unknown

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