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I completely and totally disagree.

Not all people are self serving in everything that they do. Not everyone does everything only for what they can get out of it. Maybe true for some, but not all, and not all the time. When I give someone a present it is for them and not for what I can get in return. When someone on the sidewalk asks me for some change for a bite to eat, I do not give them money or food questioning what they will be able to do for me. I guess it can be argued that the mere happiness in getting a gift in turn makes the gift giver happy. Many people have used this argument to demonstrate to me how no one really ever does things for anyone but themselves and that even other peoples happiness is only important to people in relation to how it affects their own happiness. I think this is utter hogwash. My happiness in other people's joy is a side effect of theirs, not a reason for it. And think of it conversely.. do you feel sad when you hear about horrible things that have happened to complete strangers? Does it upset you when you witness suffering? If so, does that sadness only come when their misfortune somehow takes some thing away from you, or do you feel emotion totally for the other person without thinking of any detrimental effects their suffering has upon you.

I have a friend who died recently. I went to his funeral yesterday. Everyone there who spoke talked of how much he gave to people; how he shared without a thought as to what he'd get out of it.
For example.

One day, he was walking down the street. A woman saw him and loved the shirt he was wearing. She commented to him on how beautiful it was. He took it off and gave it to her to keep.

Another time, he had been gambling in Nevada and winning a lot of money. A seedy woman attached herself to him when she saw all the cash he was winning. She proceeded to tell her all of her woes; all her life problems. She obviously wanted some money. Instead of shaking her off, he talked with her. He listened to everything she had to say. He was supposed to meet friends later for dinner and he brought this woman with him. He bought her food. Even as she was trying to scam some cash, even as she was trying to take advantage of him, he was there for her and he listened to every word she said, without a thought as to what benefit he could derive from it. She needed someone to care. And he did.

And I don't think things like these are rare occurences. I do not think things like these happen only 1% of the time. I think things like these are how we all can be, and how we should try to be every day. I think we can honor each other and treat each other well, regardless of what we get out of it.

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