In a world that seems to be more challenging, frenetic, superficial, disconnected, and even frightening, is Vivre pour autrui the answer? For me, yes, I think it is but more on that later.
When I was young and would ask my mother what she wanted for her birthday she would always respond with: “Peace of mind.” I bet you’ve heard it too. This used to frustrate me no end; as a young girl, I had no idea what that was or how to get it for my mum.
“Mum, what is peace of mind and why do you want it?” I would ask. She would smile and say one day you will understand the value of peace of mind and you will want it too.
Like most, my 20s found me exploring who I was, building relationships, and finessing the beginnings of a career. In my 30s, I seemed to come into my own, relishing my life, relationships, marriage and work with real confidence and zest for life. Peace of mind ironically was the last thing on my mind.
Then one day, when I was about to turn 40-something, I heard myself saying those very words. My husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I said, “Peace of mind.”
Where on earth did that come from!
So what is vivre pour autrui? It simply means to ‘live for others.’ It is from this phrase that the word altruism comes. And for those of you that thought that it meant ‘peace of mind’, well in a way, for me, it does.
Helping others has brought me such happiness, peace, and fulfillment and an unquenchable desire to not only demonstrate altruism but to cultivate it, promote it, and hopefully inspire others to vivre pour autrui.
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