Unselfishness does three things for you:
(1) It improves the quality of your life. It gives you an appreciation for life and a comprehension of its higher values. Seeing people in need and giving to meet those needs sets a lot of things into perspective. John Maxwell writes: ‘There is no life as empty as the self-centred life. There is no life as centred as the self-empty life.’ If you want to enhance your world, focus your attention on assisting others.
(2) It makes you part of something greater than yourself. In the mid-1980s, Merck & Company, the global pharmaceutical corporation, developed a medication to cure river blindness, a disease that infects and causes blindness in millions of people, mainly in developing countries. While it was a good product, potential customers couldn’t afford it. So, what did Merck do? It produced the drug anyway and announced that it would give it free to anyone who needed it. As a result, they gave away more than 250 million ivermectin tablets. George W. Merck says, ‘We try never to forget that medicine is for the people. It’s not for the profits. The profits follow, and if we have remembered that, they have never failed to appear.’ The lesson to learn? Simple. Instead of attempting to be great, be part of something greater than yourself.
(3) It creates a legacy. Jack Balousek, former president of True North Communications, said, ‘Learn, earn, return—these are the three phases of life.’ When you think unselfishly and invest in others, you gain the opportunity to create a legacy that will outlive you. And that should be your goal.