Yesterday, my facebook friend Pramod Kudchadkar passed away after losing out the battle with illness. His eyes (cornea) were donated along with his body to be useful to someone else. The cornea will help two persons have their sight restored and the body will aid many directly and indirectly. Truly an act of altruism by the one who pledged and the family who honoured that pledge!
The word ‘altruism’ was devised by French philosopher Auguste Comte in French, as altruisme, as an antonym of the word ‘egoism’. He derived it from the Italian altrui, which in turn was derived from Latin alteri, meaning ‘other people’ or ‘somebody else’. It is about selflessness as a practice born of the concern for others.
Altruism is when an individual performs an action at a cost to himself but it benefits another individual, sans any expectation of reciprocity or compensation for that action. It is pertinent to note that altruism is different from sentiments of obligation which are predicated by relationships. Altruism is beyond relationships and hence it benefits others.
This world will be a better place if more and more of us choose acts of altruism. This ethical creed insists that individuals are morally obliged to benefit others. Besides other ways of helping others sans any expectation, it includes donation of blood while alive and pledging of eyes, organs to be donated after death. Like Pramod let’s choose to be useful to ones who we don’t know, even when we are no more!
Death cannot deter true benefit to others…
If altruism is chosen over burial or embers!
~ Pravin Sabnis