Does it exist? Is it even possible? When faced with the harrowing thought of having a loved one exposed to a real and present danger, it’s instinctive to want to just jump right in and save them. But what happens when that person is so deep into it that they themselves don’t even realise anymore that they’re in it? Is that the point at which your love for them is tested the most? Is it then that you’ll probably be faced with the difficult decision to make about whether or not you jump in to save them, or at least die trying?
I’ve often wondered what drives this type of behaviour. Is there really something like a selfless action? The cynic in me suggests not, but the romantic in me is reminded of the movie ‘What Dreams May Come’ with Robin Williams and Annabella Sciora. But back to the cynic in me. Despite our best intentions, it’s always our deeper self that drives our actions. So what may appear on the surface as a selfless act, is in fact a selfish act because either way, if we’re not doing it for our own benefit, then we’re doing it because of our conscience. If it doesn’t affect our conscience and we have no benefit to be gained from it, then what would be our motivation to act on it?
So whether we do something to please our friends, family or partners, it’s either motivated by guilt, love or a conscience, but always selfishly motivated, even though that selfishness is not always good or healthy for us. We act out of duty rather than conviction when the guilty martyr in us triumphs over our courage to be true to ourselves and just to our souls.