Values are central to the life of many people. They determine who we are, how we behave in everyday life, they motivate us to achieve and help us know when we failed. In my life, the central two values around which I build my life are altruism and self-reliance. With these two values in mind, I believe I can turn my life into a meaningful existence, full of interesting events and contributions to society.
Altruism, or “the practice of placing others before oneself”, has always been a priority in our family (Wikipedia). When I was a child, I was always told by my mother to share my toys with others, especially, those that did not happen to have the same bright and attractive ones. I remember how she once brought me a fabulous toy car that was driving around, emitting a very natural sound. When my mom saw that I was pushing my sister out of the room so that I could play it alone, she was very angry with me. I remember vividly how she said back then: “If you use things alone, you will have no joy from them”.
Since then, I have made sharing with others an important priority. With time, this truly developed into a habit of placing the interests of other people before my own. This happened because I began sharing not just my things, but also my time and effort, my abilities, and other advantages I had in life. This practice of sharing has made me a very happy person in my personal and social life, helping me to connect with people from different backgrounds who appreciate my eagerness to take active part in their lives. With my belief in altruism, I was often helped by many people who had similar beliefs in helping others or those that were affected by my attitude.
Like altruism, my emphasis on self-reliance also stems from the family. Since my very early years, my parents and grandparents always pushed me to do things for myself more than many others. I had to learn to dress, cook basic things, prepare breakfast, and get around on my own earlier than many of my peers. This left me wondering why many people find self-reliant behaviour such a challenge when it is so much easier to do things on your own and be in control of your life. With me, it comes partly from unwillingness to bother other people with my problems and partly from interest in seeing what I can accomplish on my own. Should I ever come to serious challenges that will certainly be beyond my capacity, I am sure to ask for help, but before this I prefer to trust in my own ability. With every problem that I encounter, I first try to find an independent solution that later leaves me with an even deeper belief in my abilities.
These two core values, altruism and self-reliance, govern my everyday life, defining my approach to everything I do. Interacting with other people, I am always willing to place their interests first because I believe in sharing my time and abilities with others to make a contribution to their lives. On the contrary, speaking of my own problems, I usually try to resolve them first with my own efforts and only then seek the help of others. I believe this makes me an easy person to interact with and will help me to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.
Altruism. Wikipedia. 25 Mar. 06 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altruism>.
Altruists International. What is Altruism? 25 Mar. 06 <http://www.altruists.org/about/altruism/>.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Self-Reliance. 25 Mar. 06 <http://www.emersoncentral.com/selfreliance.htm>.
Value (Personal and Cultural). Wikipedia. 25 Mar. 06 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value_%28personal_and_cultural%29>.
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