The Egoism Versus Altruism Essay Example

I believe what type of ethics you follow is based on your parents and how you were raised. This is a reason why I find myself falling between being an egotist and an altruist; my father being an egotist while my mother being an altruist. Since a young age, my father has preached the importance of being successful in everything I do. In doing so, it instilled confidence in me and my abilities as I started seeing the rewards from what I was achieving which in turn, only fueled my desire to be the best. My mother and grandmother, on the other hand, are the most giving altruists I have ever met in my life. When I am around them, the caring unselfishness makes me feel warm comfort making me want to behave in the same manner. If I were to receive a low grade on a test, my mother would tell me that it is okay and that I will achieve a more acceptable score the next time while my father would be disappointed in me, telling me I did not prepare hard enough and I need to find a way to fix it. Being raised by the two extremes, I have found myself lying somewhere in the middle with different circumstances bringing out the different ethical beliefs I hold.

I think egotists get an inadequate representation from individuals who do not fall under that group. Egotists are driven by success and doing whatever is necessary to reach their goals. When you work that hard for something by dedicating your whole self, it is common that a sizable ego comes out of it in nature as you reap the rewards; I can see this in how my father lives his life. My egotism tends to be more pronounced when I ponder my future in terms of wanting to be rich and successful. I would consider myself to be similar to Machiavelli in his belief that the ends justify the means when it comes to what lies ahead for me but, not in a way that is as ruthless as he was. Machiavelli was completely bought into, “gaining power and keeping it; setting goals and reaching them; persuading people by any and all means; respecting normal ethics when they work, disregarding them when they don’t: being goal-oriented and self-confident; being certain of one’s own actions; sharing power reluctantly; believing that might is right; and camouflaging weakness by assertive communication.” There are a few beliefs he follows that I would consider myself to fall under but Machiavelli is a powerful extreme. I set goals to reach as well as am self-confident but, I would never be able to bring myself to do something at the cost of someone else; it is not in my nature.

Being an altruist is significantly easier to me than that of an egotist. I believe this is because of the amount I look up to my mother and grandmother in the way they can make the people around them feel. The sense of unconditional love and care they are able to provide is inspiring to me which is part of what fuels my giving actions. I will never be able to be as altruistic as they are, as they, especially my grandmother, genuinely love giving to others. My mother sacrifices as well as gives a great deal but, I am not sure if she actually loves doing it or if it is just in her nature. I believe that another motive for my mother to be as altruistic as she is, is her deep care for how others view her; which is something I do not have. I am more like my grandmother in the sense that I enjoy helping others but, I differ from her in the fact that if it were something that was a nuisance to me, I would be less inclined to do it. I feel as though my level of altruism also depends on who is receiving my unselfish actions. This is a weakness of mine as I love helping those I care about but tend to disregard those I do not.

There is a time and a place to be an egotist and an altruist making the challenging key, finding the balance. Being an athlete, I must be able to apply my positive characteristics of being an egotist to stand out while also using my altruistic characteristics to uplift my teammates around me. I want to remain a confident, successful individual while also providing a source of happiness and comfort for those around me. I value hard work and believe I can use that to help others reach their goals without necessarily handing things to them as the Dalai Lama did.


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