THE MERRIAM-WEBSTER dictionary defines the word selfless as “someone who has no concern for self, or unselfish.” As the world keeps turning, it may feel like selfless people are few and far between. It can be rewarding to fight with your elbows in a dog-eat-dog world where unapologetic selfishness gets you to the top. Just because a certain type of behavior is more visible and more noticeable doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. In fact, there is so much more to celebrate.
In this issue, I can’t help but think of dolphins going out of their way to help each other. They watch out for other dolphins… and they watch out for other species as well. As reported in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, a wide variety of animals have shown something called ‘altruistic behavior.’ Altruistic behavior basically means animals in the wild—even when it could be dangerous—go out of their way to help other animals.
Stanford’s text reads, “Altruistic behavior is common throughout the animal kingdom, particularly in species with complex social structures. For example, vampire bats regularly regurgitate blood and donate it to other members of their group who have failed to feed that night, ensuring they do not starve” (2003).
That selfless behavior is not a learned behavior. It’s something instilled in them from birth, just like an instinct. Why would it be instilled in species of animals across the globe and skip humans? I believe — even in the darkest of times — that we humans also have a natural instinct for altruistic behavior. There are people who are just simply… good. Just because that’s who they are.
For this issue of Good News, I want to highlight people in our community who show selfless behavior. Even when we don’t notice it, we’re surrounded by people who would sacrifice if it meant that we got to live a better life.
To those selfless people, those we write stories about and those we don’t, we thank you. -GN