Professor Blastoff Afterthoughts: Altruism

When I was younger I used to cry every time I lost my Grumpy Bear care bear. I was helpless without him. To this day, he is the only one who truly gets me. He and I see eye to eye when it comes to man’s inhumanity to man. He helped me survive my darkest days. Kindergarten was when it really hit hard, life’s first playground. It was there I learned there was no such thing as a free sack lunch, and girls only like you until your big wheel breaks down in the rain gutter. Grumpy B always cheered me up though, and I owe him my life.

As I grew up I became more and more curious about what made the Care Bears care so much. I did a little research and this is what I found, the anatomy of a Care Bear. I soon realized what had been making Grumpy B so grumpy…he had an incomplete digestive tract!

Luckily I was able to outgrow my grumpiness. I look at life a little more positively now. I’ve learned to think outside myself. For example, I often think about how others must feel really good when they do nice things for me. That is why I never let a day go by without asking someone to do things for me that I could easily do myself. It makes me feel good knowing that they will be rewarded for doing so either by God, Karma, or getting it paid forward. But a true altruist doesn’t do good things with the expectation of any return. That is where the argument turns to defining expectation. We never do anything without thinking of the result of our actions. And even doing some nice because it makes you feel good can be seen as expected. That is why Care Bares are true Altruists, they sacrifice themselves completely to the kids who drool on them for comfort. They can’t expect anything in return because they have no brain…except for the one in the pic.

Moving on, our guest, Alexander Platt, spoke on to the topic of carers and barers, which I’m convinced is where the Care Bears got their names as well as a built in mission statement. Obviously the world would be better off if we were surrounded by more toys with stomach tattoos that were intrinsically motivated and infinitely equipped to care about your day, but we’re not. We humans have to step up and take care of the needy. We are all paying it forward really. We have all been needy at one point or another in our lives. Particularly at the start of it.  No one just hops out the womb, claps their hands, and say, “OK , I’m here. What can I do to help?” Our days as carers are “kicked down the road” so to speak… I really hope that is an appropriate use of the term. I looked up a how to video on playing Kick the Can just to be sure.

Okay that wasn’t even a can. That was a bucket. But I guess kick the bucket was already taken. Pretty sure I understand the concept. We have to pay it forward by jumping over the can before the person who is “it” kicks it further down the road? I’m glad I found that video. For more on the topic of carers and barers check out Richard Dawkins’ book The Selfish Gene. If you want more information on Care Bears, then grow up.

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Listen to episode #38 Altruism