Altruism is when someone engages in an act or behaviour that benefits another individual at a cost to oneself. There are many examples of altruism in society, and it is often viewed as something very human.
That is, to take care of another person and do so unselfishly, without expecting a reward and not transactionally. Altruism is done out of a simple desire to help. Examples of altruism are abundant.
Here are the ten best examples of altruism in real life:
Example #1: Help a family member
We all only have one family that we’re born into. Some of us haven’t seen or spoken to certain family members. If that’s you, consider reaching out. A phone call can be nice.
If they have health needs or need some help financially, or if there’s something you can do for them in the name of altruism, a sacrifice like this can be worth it and help rebuild that relationship.
Example #2: Mentor someone
You may be able to mentor someone in an area of expertise, be it sports, arts, or even as a ‘Big Brother’ or ‘Big Sister.’ Almost every city or town has at least one mentorship program.
On top of that, in every life category, some individuals need a little guidance or help to make it to the place they want to go. If you can help them, that can be altruism.
Example #3: Do someone a favor
There is such thing as “reciprocal altruism,” which is based on helping another person today because they may one day be able to return the favour. This isn’t necessarily the most generous approach. However, it does highlight how someone is more likely to want to help you in the future if you’ve previously helped them.
If you’re kind to others, they will often return that kindness in various ways and, in that respect, volunteering your time and effort to help someone at a cost can be advantageous.
Example #4: Donate to a charity or church cause
Donating to a charity or church cause can be very rewarding if you can spare the money. Altruism is not always tied to a monetary donation. However, this can support important initiatives in one’s community and worldwide, delivering education, food, health services, and more to needy people.
Example #5: Provide a meal for someone in need
This can be buying someone a coffee, buying someone lunch, making a meal for someone in need, or directly or indirectly contributing to efforts to supply food to disadvantaged individuals or communities.
Especially in today’s world of high inflation and increasing lack of affordable nutrition, this can be a very selfless thing to do.
Example #6: Help someone with a chore
Few of us have wallets with cash ready to be donated to the causes we are passionate about. There are lots to do around a property. All of us have time to do these activities:
- Help someone with a chore, especially seniors can use the help.
- Cleaning out a garage or storage room.
- Helping someone rearrange furniture or move.
- Mowing the lawn.
- Cleaning out the gutters.
Example #7: Help someone at work
There may be someone at work struggling with a project, someone overly stressed, or someone new that could use a little assistance. Even though it may not be in your job description, a generous person might sacrifice some time to help stabilize and elevate someone else.
This benefits not only this other person but the team you’re working with and the company you’re working for.
Example #8: Share your resources
More and more families in Canada are sharing resources with others, helping bring in refugees from other countries such as Ukraine or contributing to local programs.
Even in times of scarcity, there may be things you can give up, lend, or share with others that make the community better. A little bit of kindness can go a long way and make a difference in someone’s life.
Example #9: Provide someone with a kidney or donating blood
Altruism is very present in the health sector, where there is an ongoing need for kidneys, organ donation, and blood donation. These are things that someone can do for another with no advantage to themselves, yet these acts can do so much good for the other person. Having an updated organ donation card and making a blood donation can serve an immense purpose.
Example #10: Save someone who is in physical danger
The news is regularly filled with stories of altruism, from someone diving into a river to save a drowning stranger to someone putting their life in danger to rescue others. This is the ultimate example of altruism as it puts another person’s life before yours. There are many ways one can be altruistic should the opportunity ever present itself, and this is certainly one.