Why some people go out of their way to do good in the world

There is a stage in life that some people manage to reach. Maslow describes it as “self-transcendence”.[1] It comes after all our deficiencies and growth needs have been met. Having built a strong safety net protects us from falling back into survival mode. In turn, this frees up our brainpower and allows us to focus on bigger goals.

Our next challenge then becomes how to extend this safety over our families, communities, species, all of biological life, our planet, and whatever else we identify with.

How a few known individuals went about this, each in their own way:

  • Mother Teresa dedicated her life to caring for the dying in Kolkata. 
  • Bill Gates focuses on eradicating infectious diseases. 
  • Aubrey de Grey dedicates his time to cure aging. 
  • Elon Musk is all in on making life multiplanetary.

What would you work on if all your needs were taken care of? What is a worthy goal that we rarely hear about?

I’d also like to know what having all their needs met does for sociopaths. My hypothesis is that it reduces the level of sociopathic behavior.

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