A while back, I convinced my husband to watch Letters to Juliet with me. I have to say, it is a major chick-flick that used up a lot of my points for picking which movies we watch together. But, there is a dinner scene, which I found interesting, where Amanda Seyfried calls the guy, who is her love interest, ‘a self-satisfied do-gooder.’ I’m pretty sure it wasn’t meant as a compliment.
It’s sad that pro bono, volunteer work is often seen in this light, but is it untrue? Unfair? In some cases, I’m sure it is. But, it has been my experience that pride can find its way into just about anything. It can be argued that there is an element of self-interest even in wanting to see someone’s happy reaction when they receive a gift. I’m not really sure ‘self’ can be completely separated out. The best I think we can hope for is to become…or remain cognizant of the reasons we do what we do and use them to keep things in perspective—to not get caught up in patting ourselves on the back. Some people will have reasons closer to true altruism than others, but in a world that is far from perfect, how picky should we be? What is the alternative?