Altruism is selfless concern for the welfare of others.
Altruism focuses on a motivation to help others or a want to do good without reward.
And today, I have a couple of examples of this selfless concern for you.
I gave my worms the once over this evening. Concerned (selflessly so) for their welfare after a stonkingly hot day, I dug deep into their rotting home, which was both uncomfortably warm and unpleasantly smelly. They need a bit of a turnover every now and again to keep their bedding (newspaper, rotting kitchen scraps and some compost) aerated and homely – in worm terms.
This was not a nice job and I think that if I wasn’t a parent and hadn’t been through all those difficult and testing dirty nappies in the recent past, I would probably not have been able to stick it out.
But despite the heat and the smell, my worms are now happily ensconced back in their breeding trays, fed, moist and happy (I didn’t actually see any smiles, but it was getting a bit dark).
Secondly: Captain Blade
It’s not all fun and games being the mascot of a sporting team. There are surely only so many kids you can wave at and hug, only so many photos you can pose for before you start wondering if there might be more out there in the world of gainful employment. And if you put a foot wrong, you are instantly and unnoticeably replaceable. One goon inside a comical foam rubber costume looks very much the same as another goon inside a comical foam rubber costume.
So maybe Deepdale Duck, the comical foam rubber costumed mascot for Preston North End FC was looking for a little more excitement in his life when he decided to (allegedly) “put off” Derby goalkeeper Stephen Bywater by shouting at him during a penalty and was escorted from the ground. Quite why he was removed is beyond me – presumably all the fans were being deathly silent so as not to disturb Bywater’s concentration. Presumably Bywater requires absolute peace and quiet before he lets a penalty past him. (It did go in, so maybe Deepdale Duck’s actions were successful, but Preston still lost 2-1).
And those were the events that prompted Captain Blade – the Sheffield United mascot – to hold an altruistic half time sit down protest in the centre circle at Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane, charmingly described by The Guardian thus:
“Free The Preston One.” In a season of farce at Bramall Lane, we have reached a new peak. Club mascot Captain Blade has downed cutlasses staged a sit-down protest in Sheffield, holding a banner in support of Deepdale Duck, who was dragged from the field against Derby at the weekend.
That’s pretty brave of the Blades mascot when you think about it. If a foam rubber duck can be arrested for shouting during a football game, then such mascot insubordination as half time protests on the pitch should surely result in a sacking.
The thing is, we’ll probably never know if it did.