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Self or others?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Unveiled Artist, Oct 27, 2021.

  1. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    There are two ideas I've heard about caring about others.

    You can't help others unless you focus on yourself first.

    You have to think of others before yourself.

    I know a lot of people religious and not say they think of others first. Thinking of self us ego, selfish, etc they say.

    How do you feel about the first saying compared to the second?

    Opinions?
     
  2. Lain

    Lain An Intervallic Time Traveler

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    I think that the first saying is basically true, and the second one shows that it is true. You can not do good to others if you do not do good to yourself first. I think this is always the case. If for example a parent chooses to feed their children over themselves, first they chose to act virtuously which is good for themselves, and then the good "flows out" to another. So when you "think of others" and then help them, you are doing good to yourself and then to them. This is related I think to the saying "virtue is it's own reward." I do not see how it is possible for acts to be any other way, but I may be entirely wrong on this.
     
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  3. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Retired Ruler
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    I absolutely hate this saying.

    I feel it comes from a place of priveldge. Tell it to the parents that feeds their children before themselves, or the spouse who sacrifices some part of their life for the benefit of the other. I know the example of the oxygen mask on the airplane is usually given, but the truth is, things seldom come down to oxygen. Skipping a meal(or even several), giving up the time you think you need for mental well being, and throwing a goal away are not oxygen, and you can move on without them.

    It is in realizing the difference between wants and needs that make the difference. We have few needs.

    As for the second statement, its too basic. Others. Who are others? I'm not going to put the guy that lives down the block first, because its likely I don't know what he needs. If I imagine I do, I disservice us both. (This is excluding obvious life/death scenarios). I will put my children first and spouse however. It is my duty to do so.
     
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  4. Conscious thoughts

    Conscious thoughts Veteran Member

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    In a emergency, example if the maskes comes down in a airplane, one would put on one own mask first to be able to help others.( air is needed to be able to help if air pressure is gone)

    In a accident or in critical situations where life is on the line, one would selflessly think of and help others no matter what happens.
     
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  5. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    I think it depends on who is involved and what is at stake. So, on a case-by-case basis you determine if it is appropriate to give yourself the help you feel you need, or forsake that and help another. I don't think cookie-cutters work well for complex situations like the ones that could be assessed using your two phrases.
     
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  6. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    It depends on which makes you happier.
    Some will happily sacrifice themselves for others.
    Some will happily allow others to sacrifice for them.

    Right and wrong is about personal feelings in this case, IMO.
     
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  7. Vitality

    Vitality New Member

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    I think of it kind of like putting an oxygen mask on in an airplane. You must take care of yourself in order to assist others. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Fulfilling your own needs becomes selfish when you neglect the needs of others once your needs are met.

    This is at a simplistic level of thinking of course. There’s a balance to be had in each of our lives, and thus needs are ever changing. What may seem selfish to some may be crucial for the well being of others.
     
  8. Fool

    Fool ALL in all
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    when two people are drowning and neither knows how to swim, the first person can only save themselves usually.
    if one person can swim, they might be able to save another.


    when a person is in survival mode and trying to meet their needs, they aren't able to help others. fyi, no one gets anywhere without the help of others. children could never grow physically, or psychologically without the help of others. when a person has all their needs fulfilled, they can be of assistance to other as self.
     
  9. Hermit Philosopher

    Hermit Philosopher Selflessly here for you

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    I’d say that most people are not ready to think (solely) of others and live by that, before they’ve spend a good, long time thinking of and living for their own selves first.

    But some of those who did the latter till they were blue in the face and eventually reached the limits of self serving, may have come to discover that a life lived in service of others, is a whole lot more joyous and rewarding.

    Humbly
    Hermit
     
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  10. PearlSeeker

    PearlSeeker Well-Known Member

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    IMO this decision depends on each situation.

    As a general principle I would say balance.
     
  11. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    As others have pointed out.- Context, context, context...
     
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  12. Firelight

    Firelight The theory of evolution is false
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    The first one is for those people who continuously run themselves ragged by trying to satisfy everyone else in their lives before they will take a moment for themselves, which may never actually happen until they have a physical or mental breakdown.

    The second one is for those who put too many of their wants and needs first, before they ever think of anyone else. This may include their spouse and children that they need to put before their own needs, wants, and desires.
     
  13. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Yes, of course...
     
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