Please suspend your judgment, until the end. As this could be a turning point––making you an ambassador for positive change in your area. There are two divergent philosophical questions that determine a path towards perishing or towards survival.
“What is there for me?”
The term: “What is there for me?” appears good; viewed as promoting patriotism, when applied to a nation. With such people, an area or country can be viewed as fortunate and considered blessed. Albeit, for a short period. Good leaders cannot last for a long time. However, as such people focus more on what benefits them, than other people, they help develop two dichotomies known in this world; the rich and the poor. The poor are perceived as not hard-working, experiencing the brunt of laziness. The rich are shrewd and hard-working, accordingly attracting admiration from the indolent ones.
A cautious individual invests on resources and works diligently to benefit his/her country or family. Such individuals are heroes in their own circumstances. They are the foundation of what causes the so-called developed countries, optimizing the resources to sufficiently cater for their own people. Careful analysis, however, reveals that such kind of behaviour is laden with devastating effects, threatening the survival of humankind. Vices such as envy, resentment, greed, bitterness, generating endless wars emanate from this kind of behaviour, leading to all world troubles.
Also, any country producing sufficiently for its own citizens, suffers consequences when some disaster, like famine, strikes in that area. Bear in mind that other countries would be preoccupied in harnessing resources for their own citizens. Others would be unable to pitch up on need for possible help to those trapped in some disaster, for instance.
We are looking for solutions that alleviate human problems, as known to exist today. The question: “What is there for me?” produces answers that are associated with self-centredness. While it is worth noting that there can never be anything like absolute rightness, or absolute wrongness, nevertheless, where more focus is on self, more problems exist in corresponding degree, in any given situation. The person driven by the question: “What is there for me?” Gets the opposite of what would be desired.
“What is there for other people?”
The champion of this philosophy is Jesus Christ, as He declared: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28 NIV). This behaviour is associated with altruism.
True followers of Jesus would have no problem with altruism. Service is the key. One loses sleep; expending energy and other resources, for the purpose of serving other people. That person would not be preoccupied with the question: “What is there for me?” But with the question: “What is there for other people?” When carefully checking how workable this behaviour is, all solutions to human problems get handled. Ideally, each person survives for other people, with little consideration for own survival. This pictures a utopian pattern that cannot be matched with anything known to have existed on the entire planet. Jesus demonstrated how workable this behaviour is.
His name is revered by many today, because of His commitment to serving others without putting emphasis on own survival. While others maintain that Jesus did this, due to Him being supernatural, such behaviour is workable to anyone choosing to follow His foot-steps. Jesus is the only example of what service entails, with unquestionable positive results, in fulfilling personal desires.