How to Choose to Live a Life that Benefits the Greater Good Thumbnail

Humans are not solitary beings; we live in communities and social groups and seek relationships with other humans. In order for our communities and relationships to exist peacefully and function effectively, we need to be able to consider other people and their needs. We are inescapably linked to each other and to the world outside of ourselves. Choosing to live a life that benefits the greater good, needs to be a conscious decision.

How we live our lives is really a matter of choice. We individually make thousands of choices every day and each of those choices, whether conscious or subconscious, impacts our life. These choices also impact the lives of those around us. The benefits of living in a way that considers the greater good are two-fold; we benefit personally by way of a healthier, happier life and the community we live in also benefits.

The greater good can be defined as that which is best for a whole community or group of people. This group might be a family, a workplace, a local community, country or the whole planet. In the words of J.K.Rowlings, “we touch other people’s lives simply by existing.” When living in a way that benefits the greater good, we make sure that this impact is in a positive way.

Here are some simple tips for helping you choose to live to benefit the greater good:

  • Balance – while some people sacrifice their own needs in order to help others, it is healthier to keep a balance in your life. Thinking only of other people, at the expense of yourself, can lead to you becoming bitter. Make sure that you maintain a balance between your own needs and those of the group. It isn’t healthy to sacrifice your own ideals for someone else’s on a permanent basis. Don’t give so much of yourself to others that you have nothing left for yourself. I learned this lesson the hard way. It has only been in recent years that I have been able to find this balance.
  • What is good for the group is often the best for you – sometimes we don’t know what the best course of action is, but decide to go along with a decision for the greater good. We usually come to realize that what was best for everyone is also best for us, as an individual. Be prepared to accept that what is best for all is often also best for the individual. A decision for the greater good involves the perspective of other people, which may be different to your own perspective.
  • Selfish is a lonely place to be – living a solitary life, based on what is best just for yourself, can isolate you and cause loneliness. Stubbornly adhering to what you want for yourself, at the expense of others, can lead to isolation. Make choices based on what is best for the majority to lead a happier, more fulfilling life.
  • What goes around, comes around – many people believe that what you give is what you get and there are so many examples of this being true. To get kindness, you need to be kind; to get assistance, you need to be helpful; to get support, you need to be supportive.
  • Live a fulfilling life – when you live in such a way that it benefits the greater good, you will find that life seems to have a better quality and is more fulfilling. Being a useful member of society gives you pride in yourself and boosts your self-esteem and confidence. This then carries over into all other parts of your life as well.  Just think of this network; think of how much you have gotten in return from taking time to help others.

Use these tips to help you make decisions that will help you live a life that benefits the greater good. By doing so you will find that you benefit in numerous ways.

So, how do you help the greater good?  Anybody you know online or offline who stands out when it comes to living for the greater good?