Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Altruism

The Prof is working away and left home at an ungodly hour this morning, I couldn't face driving so told him I would catch the boneshaker minibus to town midmorning in order to pick the car up from the station.
The £2.90 bus fare is worth the lie in.
As I was waiting for the bus, I spied a guy collecting litter from the village pavements, I presumed he was a council worker.
The man said hello as he passed and then I realised he wasn't a council worker but just a regular bloke collecting rubbish from a country village!
I snapped a photo of him, as he continued his presumed voluntary work on the grass verges.


I am a firm believer of true altruistic behaviour. I think it is something that should be encouraged by parents of children and by teachers with their students at school. It should be the expected norm and not the pleasantly surprising exception to it.
We all need to give something back to our communities. And that gift should hold no strings.

Many people think that they are altruistic, but often their kindnesses such as a charity donation, a text to comic relief or a couple of pounds given to Big Issue salesman are only a second lasting quick fix.
Altruism takes effort, time and energy.
Collecting rubbish from the side of the road for no thanks is true altruism.

61 comments:

  1. Absolutely right. I've done some sort of voluntary work all my adult life, it's brought me friends and I'm certain I've received much, much more than I've ever given. Stories like this about the litter-picker reaffirm my faith in human nature. And you're not backward in altruistic actions yourself, John - the village would be a poorer place without you

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  2. I utterly agree. We live in a coastal town and every couple of weeks there is an organised voluntary beach tidy up and you would be amazed at the rubbish we collect, buckets of litter, old fishing nets, lots of containers and cartons with foreign writing on them, it is oddly therapeutic. Sue H

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  3. i totally agree! i've taught my kids to always help others.

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  4. So true.
    I remember driving up the hill to my home in Laguna Beach and seeing a lady who walked her dog everyday. It was a so sweet to see her puppy grow up to a really huge fluffy dog. She alway had a bag with her to pick up trash that the wind or people toss in a beautiful natural area.

    cheers, parsnip

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  5. Good on him. Makes me absolutely LIVID to see people purposely or carelessly drop litter. Don't see it as often now as when I was a kid, 50-60 years go, but when I do my blood pressure shoots up and stays there the rest of the day. Needless to say, if it's 'clean' litter I'll pick it up and put it in the street bin myself.

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  6. You're absolutely right, John! Such community-centred values are getting to be in short supply nowadays though, aren't they.

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  7. I love the image of the man picking up rubbish in your village area. A favorite quote of mine related to altruism is "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." Mother Theresa.

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  8. Just saw on the CBS News this morning a chance meeting at a between two men at a Cracker Barrel restaurant lead to a policeman donating his liver to Vietnam Vet. The two men just happened to stop at this restaurant one at a trip to vacation the other needed to rest after dialysis. They just started talking and a few months later this operation is happening today.

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  9. I totally agree and I can attest to the very sweet satisfying feeling of having given time and made someone smile or more comfortable or cheerful, if even for just a few hours in a day.
    The small deeds done with no expectation of thanks or payment in any kind but the warm glow you get for having done it .. it being whatever makes someone else happy, comfortable, smile, feel better... it is all good.

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  10. I do this...it's so much more positive than seething about it....also means a bit more gets back in the recycling stream.
    Arilx

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  11. For a couple of years, the county had volunteers come to 'clean up' the roadsides and ditches. There were signs put up along the roads stating the beauty of our countryside was courtesy of so-and-so company or store. Then the local prison decided they wanted the job and glory (hah) and they had a work program for the inmates. Now, they show up, pick up a lot of trash, kinda, sorta, and only when it suits. Sigh ... So much for keeping our county beautiful. Sigh ...

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  12. In Florida it seems they use "road gangs" ... to clean up along the state roads and highways .. these being criminals .. there are armed guards but these are not robbers and killers .. but they are prisoners who are getting out for the day to do cleaning up work on the roads and highways .

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  13. That's a co-incidence. I was just up at Redmires Reservoirs where I parked my car to read for a while. Noticing a fair amount of litter by the roadside I got an old plastic sack from my boot and half-filled it with the litter. Does that make me altruistic too?

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  14. I think adding "community service" hours when someone has a drunk driving or an offence conviction brings home the point to the offender that breaking the law needs to serve the community and not just sit in a cell for a few days.

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  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    Replies
    1. Piss shit and shite.

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    2. Stop being a cow

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    3. Fresh halos available.

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    4. You needed some fun here.

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    5. I'm in a cow mood

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    6. Obviously!
      Why dont you take a photo of a vase of flowers that usually bucks you up

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    7. I missed this piss, shit and fuckery. Oh well.

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    8. Tom--You didn't miss much. We have way more fuckery going on in the U.S. today with Trump.

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    9. How dare you.

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    10. Anyway, David Sedaris does this all the time (pick up litter) and it's not even his country of birth.

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  16. I believe many high schools now are requiring a certain number of community service hours from teenagers in order to graduate. While it may be done begrudgingly by some, I expect overall it hooks quite a few young people into life-long good works. There are so many ways to help, everyone can find something that they are comfortable doing.

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  17. I always pick up, when the crushed vertebrae allow, rubbish on my prom walk. It pissed me off to see plastic bottles and cans within feet of a bin, so as someone else said, I just did it instead of seething. I just care about wildlife.

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  18. We used to have an oldlady come round our village and pick the rubbish up. She would comefrom the next village which is about a mile away clear everything in her pathto the bus stop in our village put it in the bin catch the bus and off she went to town which is about 7 mile away. She would then walk back on a busy main road and pick the litter up on the roadside. She was 80 at that time . Sadly age has caught up with her after all these years so she catches the bus from her village to town. Strange how you miss people like that.

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  19. I agree and it should start at a young age - teaching your children to do good deeds (we call it good citizenship) not just at home but in their neighborhoods and schools. I think it gives them a bit of pride when they do this.

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  20. I lost my entry (a good one) when I clicked
    Aunt Gladys' photo... can't remember all of it..
    but your altruism is my noblesse oblige...nothing
    like it to make it our daily, ongoing prayer to
    life.....

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    Replies
    1. More news about auntie glad tomorrow!

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  21. I don't think most parents have an altruistic attitude any more - don't do anything for nothing seems to be becoming the norm.

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    Replies
    1. Very true. It all starts at home.

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  22. Around here we just call it pitching in. My grandkids always do as well. In the winter, you shovel more than your own sidewalk or drive and if there is garbage along our trails it gets picked up.

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    Replies
    1. We all should pitch in a little more

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  23. I should have also added, this post is a nice reminder. Thanks.

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  24. There are too many people raised to think the world owes them something, but at the same time, I have been touched and moved to tears by the kindness of total strangers and the good deeds I see, quietly performed, with no expectation of thanks ...

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  25. We were brought up to believe that we had an obligation to contribute positively to the community in which we lived. I am very glad of that aspect of my upbringing.

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  26. I've suggested this in the past as a village activity ...a group of locals armed with litter pickets and bin bags , each with a set of roadsides to clear .....get the pub to lay on some post-pick snacks and all gather for a natter ...old and young brought together for an event that would clear the roads and purify the soul ....that's my dream :)

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    1. Well lets organise it. We could put a poster up at the Zflower Show

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    2. Facebook is the way to go to get the word out.That's what we do up here and it's been really successful in rallying support.

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    3. Zflower show ? Don't go all 'allo allo on me john

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  27. Not necessarily the same thing but.....
    Made me think of the saying
    "Random Acts of Kindness"

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  28. This is always good to see.
    Not bragging here but I do this every time I am down at the beach. I always pick up plastic trash that comes ashore. I figure if everyone did this can you just imagine the difference it would make?

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  29. That's it, and I bet he likes living with himself too.

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    Replies
    1. And so there is always a reward!

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  30. My neighbor and her daughter did that while they walked up to wait for her son's school bus. The young daughter informed me "Me and mommy are shopping for trash!," thereby earning herself a sucker. She's grown up to be an environmentalist.

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  31. Totally agree . . .
    Great post John . . .

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  32. An unselfish act is often rewarded in ways we could never imagine. Besides, it makes one feel good.

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  33. I don't do it too often, but once or twice a year I can't stand it any more, and do much the same. In my case I just hate seeing tin cans, fag packets, or plastic bottles on the side of the road.

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  34. When I became a Firey, it was to benefit my community and our environment, and we put in a lot of hours, but what I have gained in so many ways is far more than I have ever put in. Don't know how it is there, but here almost all of our emergency services are done by volunteers. Weird really how a lot of the most important work in our society is trusted to unpaid people when we pay CEOs millions of dollars a week. Well maybe not so odd. I know who I'd rather trust to have my back!

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  35. There are nice folk around thankfully.I watched that prog last night 'Three Girls'.Not many nice folk in that.Left me deeply upset and angry.

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  36. There are nice folk around thankfully.I watched that prog last night 'Three Girls'.Not many nice folk in that.Left me deeply upset and angry.

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  37. It was years before I found out who the mystery litter fairy who cleared the village green after a fete or festival was as it was done quietly in the early hours after an event. Obviously the steward volunteers do the bulk of litter picking but this unassuming gentleman would tidy away the rest. He died a few years ago & I found out he'd been a ballroom dancer who lived in a flat over a shop looking over the village green. It must have given him great pleasure to see it all spic and span but took no credit for it.

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  38. It seems a strange concept anymore. But I was raised to take pride in my neighborhood. It's as though everyone thinks it's someone else's job or that picking up in their own yard is too much hassle.

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  39. I do the occasionaly litter pick early on Sunday mornings. It is amazing how many people stop and tell me how pubic spirited i am being... Not my rubbish but it is my town, my street and with public resources stretched beyond breaking point I think we should all take a bit of responsibilty for our neighbourhood. I garden the grass verge in front of my house too. I get so much pleasure out of seeing it looking pretty.

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