03 mai 2009

Link with others

"If I am not for myself who will be for me?

And if I'm for myself [alone], what am I?

And if not now, when?"

Hillel, Values Of Our Fathers

Life is a struggle. And it is a struggle which is not worth to be done to ourselves!

Today, we are in the heart of a global movement towards individualism and personal development. Large values are autonomy, independence, freedom and self-expression. These values have become  nowadays so central that even advertisers are used to make us buy the same thing our neighbour while we believe that we are thank to them  unique.

Here some examples that speaks to everybody: "Be yourself" claim cloth and perfume advertisements. Or "Give me your 'suggests an advertising for a brand of coffee. There is also a «Think different» or “Be like no other” order by the announcement of a computer manufacturer. In the

United States

, even the army which is not the symbol of individual values uses the same concept to attract young recruits: we can see written on posters on the bottom of tank manoeuvres in the desert. "Be all you can be"

These values taken from the American and French revolutions are now central for us.

But we have to say that the more we are moving into this direction, the more we find that there is however a cost of the independence. This cost is the isolation, suffering and loss of

Values and sense, all that are caused by this individualism. Never have we had as much freedom to separate us from our spouses who do not longer suit us: the divorce rate is approaching 50% in our societies. It was never so easy to divorce or to stop our family responsibility.

We also never moved as much: in the

United States

, it is estimated that an average family moves every five years. Detached by links, duties, obligations to others, we have never been so free to find our own path. Therefore there is a risk of finding ourselves and get alone and lost. The love of our spouse, our children, our family that we carry is probably the source of the most obvious meaning for our existence. But the importance of others for our own balance is not confined to this nuclear family. In fact, the more we are integrated into a community which means to us, the more we feel to play a role and the easiest it is for us to leave our feelings of anxiety, despair, lack of sense.

To such a point that many men and women have discovered a joy in taking risks in their life for a cause that far exceeds the limits of their existence: a joy to give his life for others. The sense that we find in the link to others, this is imposed by the culture or not social morality. It is a need for our own brain!

In the last thirty years, sociobiologists have proved in a very serious survey that it is our genes that are themselves altruistic. They gave the conclusion that orientation towards others (and inner peace that we won from it) are part of our genetic constructions.

American sociologists have established that the people involved in community activities are not only happier, but they are also healthier and live longer than others. A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology says that within equal conditions of health, and social classes, people who participate in volunteer activities that focus on others have 60% lower heath problem than people who do not participate to such activities.

So in the main scientific journal Science of the world an analysis of the effects of volunteering concludes that taking care of others is one of the best guarantees of a longer life: This would have more benefit effect than blood pressure controls,  low cholesterol drugs, and even giving up smoking!

Posté par TigerDevil à 13:54 - - Commentaires [2] - Permalien [#]


Commentaires sur Link with others

    Giant!

    I've been so much attracted by the very first words you quoted on the article that I read the rest in such a huge speed, and with such a deep interest. The Human Being has never been an "Individualistic" in the meaning advertised to deafness in the media. He never was but a "social individual". Our individuality, our personality is much linked to the environment we live in. I guess, there's no escape!
    I do beleive, as you said, in the fact that part of our lost hapiness is linked to the loss of those social values...
    Thanks!

    PS: The first words are also translated to French by Maxime Le Forestier... "Si je ne suis pas pour moi, qui le serait? Et si je ne suis Que pour Moi, qui serais-je?

    Posté par AzizOu, 05 mai 2009 à 10:22 | | Répondre
  • Love it!

    It's awkward how you spoke about man being sociable while I was lately thinking about that! Coincidence? Yeah, I guess. But all I wanted to say is, I personally cannot stand to be alone no matter what or how or why,.. and I envy those who can because sometimes one needs to be alone or simply, for some circumpstances, is! So that's got to deal with our own genes. Guess we are programmed to live one next to the other and more important one FOR the other!

    Posté par slim ben, 05 mai 2009 à 22:34 | | Répondre
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