Thursday, March 10, 2016


We can’t help others. We can’t even help ourselves. Especially not ourselves.

It’s easier to help others than it is to help ourselves, because we know them, and what is good for them, better than we know ourselves and what is good for us. Knowing others is the way we avoid knowing ourselves.

But we don’t want to help others.

Socrates said we all want to do good. If people don’t do good, it’s because they don’t know what the good is. But we all know what the good is. People can't or won’t do what is good for others because they can’t or won't do what is good for themselves. Why would they help others when they can’t or won't help themselves?

We tell ourselves that we do what we have to do, or we tell ourselves that what we do is by definition good because we are good. These are the most common excuses for not doing what we know is good. But the real reason why we don’t do what we know is good is we don't want to do it. At best, we want to want to. What we really want is to seem good, to others and to ourselves, without doing anything to deserve it.

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