I’m someone who has always had a utilitarian type point of view, I do what’s best for the greater good of the group. I remember in a biology class in high school, our teacher used an example of if the entire class was deserted on an island and we only had one raft that could fit everyone except one person, we would probably end up with a raft with a hole in it because we would be unable to determine who to leave behind and end up sabotaging everyone. I put my hand up and told him that I would stay behind because it would cause the most survival and no one else would probably want to stay and sacrifice themselves. My teacher didn’t believe me at first but I was quite serious, I would bite that bullet in order to cause the most good with the least amount of pain. He told me I was being altruistic and that in the event of that actually happening I would probably not do it, and who knows? Luckily I haven’t been placed in that situation yet but I feel like I would stand by my decision.
I remember another time, I was about 12 years old, when my siblings and I were in trouble. Our mother’s favorite vase had been destroyed by someone and she was not letting us go until whoever did it fessed up. There was silence for a short time, as it appeared none of us were going to own up to the destruction and so I took a bullet for the team. I told her I did it (Even though I did not) and my punishment was a spanking with the wooden spoon. Funnily enough, my mom ended up missing my butt and hitting her hand on the counter, spraining her finger. That was actually the last time she tried to spank us, but this was another case of my altruistic tendencies.
Even when I was living with my first girlfriend, I remember coming home from the store at night and the door was slightly ajar and she panicked thinking that someone had broken in, again without hesitation, I was in the door, unarmed and searching for the intruder making sure the area was safe. Luckily nothing had happened and we believe we just hadn’t closed the door properly before we left, but that willingness to put myself in harms way came as second nature.
It’s not that I wish to die, that’s the last thing on my mind in these situations, I just want to make sure that others are alright. I guess I’ve always been like that, giving to those around me even when it’s not always in my own best interest (Blind Trust and Betrayal) because as long as I have what I need to survive, I’m willing to put myself out a bit if it means setting someone else up for success. This isn’t always beneficial to my future but thanks to my therapy, I have learned how to better weigh these decisions to make sure I can still succeed as well because I’ve also learned that you can’t save someone from drowning with a boat that’s going to sink.
I think of myself in this way: There’s the saying, “Look out for number one,” and I like to think that I am doing that… It’s just that my list is in a different order.