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Sage Against The Machine.
Libertarian Humanist.

Is Doing Good Things Insane?

February 24, 2019

The thing about it is: I don't feel like a "good" human at all.

I also don't feel like a bad human. I'm just a human.

But I do like to learn about other humans doing good things. It kind of helps me keep my game up. Like, "Don't get cocky Sage. You really are not doing much."

Here's a guy who pounded through ice, swimming shirtless, in a lake to save a dog:

This Ice Smashing 21 year old Russian : HumansBeingBros

Now there is commitment to the cause.

And look at this woman... she legit battled a freaking bull to save another person's life:

I had a friend in the Web marketing world, a guy from my home town, Akron-area Ohio, who died saving a teenage girl who was drowning in Lake Erie. His name is Peter Radke. Medina man drowns trying to save teenage girl in Lake Erie.

And check this out: Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.

The two-fold mission of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission: To recognize persons who perform acts of heroism in civilian life in the United States and Canada, and to provide financial assistance for those disabled and the dependents of those killed helping others.

Apparently, they get SO many applications that they have to continually up the requirements to even be considered. They write: "Due to the volume of nominations the organization receives each year — about 800 — only those who ultimately receive the Carnegie Medal — about 11 percent — receive notification."

These people are no joke. Check out this intro paragraph of the most recent winners:

PITTSBURGH, December 18, 2018—Eighteen people 16 Americans and two Canadians were recently named Carnegie heroes for risking their lives for others in life-threatening situations, including seven children trapped in burning homes, burning cars, or in danger of drowning; two police officers assaulted while struggling to take men into custody; and a barista who was being threatened with a hunting knife.

People are constantly doing amazing things.

I don't think I'm actually risking a single damn thing right at the moment. No one is suing me. My neighbors aren't yelling at me. Shoot. The mayor is even giving me the two-handed handshake these days.

It's not hard for me to feel like a wanker when it comes right down to it.

Doing good things for me has become like an adrenaline rush for me. I want more. I want to go harder.

I'm really into these wingsuit people:

I am also really attracted to mountain climbing.

But I'm a little tied up with family life right now. So those pursuits have to take a backseat. But social advocacy fits into my life rather decently. Plus, I like that helping people has a social benefit. Where as just risking my life jumping off cliffs doesn't have a ton of value for the greater good.

And this gets me to my point:

I feel like society has greater acceptance for adventure seekers than do-gooders.

People will just shake their heads, raise their eyebrows and say things like "That guy is nuts," when talking about adventure seekers.

But someone who does something good for someone else is a whole other thing. I have heard things like:

  • Why would you spend time helping other people?
  • Isn't your family more important to you?
  • Shouldn't you be making money, saving for retirement and saving for your kid's college?

And of course, then I get the hushed, almost sacred comments:

  • Thank you SO much for what you are doing.
  • You are a true blessing.
  • You will be rewarded in heaven.

Literally, I am just having fun. That's all this is to me. I'm solving a problem and having fun. It's nothing different than anything I've ever done as an entrepreneur. The only difference is that I finally feel like I'm doing something that actually matters.

So it just comes down to fun and fulfillment for me. I'm telling you: it's the most selfish thing I've ever done in my life. I'm doing this for me, not for anyone else.

I mean my picture has been in the New York Times over this stuff:

So what's the disconnect?

Do you know how many upvotes on Reddit a guy gets for cutting a fishing net off a sea turtle? They go on and on and on about how amazing this guy is for taking 3 minutes to cut a fishing net off a sea turtle. "But that turtle could have bit him," they like to say.

Are you telling me there are actually people who wouldn't cut the fishing net off a sea turtle if given the slightest chance? That doesn't even compute to me.

  • Would I break through ice to save a dog?
  • Would I swim out into Lake Erie to save any person?
  • Would I fight a bull to save a person?

FUCK YEAH I WOULD! Do you know how great it would feel to do those things and survive? Do you know what a life-altering rush it would be?

Sure, nearly crashing headfirst into a rock wearing a wingsuit is cool. But nearly dying fighting a bull to save a human? I got you beat every time!

And that is what makes me crazy, I think, in the eyes of standard society.

I actually wonder if the DSM-5 has a categorization of mental illness for people like me.

Not only would I do those things I would love to do those things.

It just makes me wonder.

Why aren't people doing risky things to help society?

It's fun. It's fulfilling. It's exciting. And it makes society better.

Is it because we don't celebrate it? Is it because it doesn't occur to people? Do people not know how good it feels to help other people? Or do people not feel good when they help other people?

It's a mystery to me.

500,000 people jump out of airplanes a total of 3 million times each year in the U.S.

How many people save another human being from a burning car or house each year?

I can literally hear people saying to me: "Sage, you aren't SERIOUSLY advocating that people actually try and save other people's lives at the risk of their own are you?"

Um yes. Yes I am.

That makes me crazy I guess. Maybe even radical and dangerous.

But I feel like I stumbled onto something that seems special to the rest of the world. I find that curiously amusing. But whatever. That curiosity helps the cause.

I mean do you know how much harder I'd have to market if there were as many non-profit startups in Akron as there are cell phone stores? This is the easiest marketing project I've ever done in my life.


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