I’m not sure what you mean by that.

You’re on the other side of the Atlantic. Since you can’t put off my murder, you can put off a fine cigar instead.

I would unthinkingly risk my own life for a complete stranger if it were required

Admirable. But I do not think it is fair to compare crisis situations to everyday life. People will readily donate to help areas hit by natural disasters and then step over the homeless person without so much as a second thought. Because one is a crisis and one is (sadly) everyday life.

As for risking my life for my children, I could argue ensuring the survival of my offspring is self-preservation. Not just my genes, but also my values and my memory extended beyond my natural lifespan.

But also anytime lives need to be directly put at risk it is a crisis situation. We’re herd animals. In a crisis the herd becomes more important, because the herd is our primary means of survival.

Either that’s evasive wriggling or else your point wasn’t clearly made to start with because that’s not the impression I got.

All right, I will accept that I was not clear. I think people will work to fill their own needs first. Once their needs are met, they will have the resources and energy to help out others with their needs. Different social and economic classes have different understandings of what their needs are. The 1% who should be in a position to share more, don’t because they feel like they need all they have — in a way they do, to survive as part of the 1%. But also, their perspective on their needs are twisted up and they are trying to fill needs with the wrong things.
To the rest of us, our needs are more easily met. We are much quicker to feel like we have a surplus. And with that surplus we can help others who still have needs. The lower you go in socioeconomic ranks, the less people feel they need.

I agree that too many people will deny their own needs out of a sense of duty. In the short term that can work. In the long term that will burn them out and they will be in a situation where they can’t think of others’ well-being because they are much too occupied with their own.

I may be wrong about that but air travel is not what springs to my mind to make that particular example … it just hasn’t been that significant a part of my life — because I haven’t led a life in which it was casually normal.

But you do live in a country where, I have been recently told, it is cheaper to fly from one end of it to the other than it is to take the train. Maybe the difference is that you’ve mostly been in a metropolitan center as opposed to rural areas where you need to travel pretty long distances to join in any sort of significant event.

As for me, I’ve lived most my life on a tiny island where the only option to go anywhere is air travel. While it’s not exactly casual, it is much more normal. People do fly a lot. For medical, educational and family reasons as well as vacations and business. But most people have family abroad willing to take them in for a week or two, so the luxury isn’t the air travel, the luxury is a stay in a hotel.

But the price of a ticket aside, my mind went to the oxygen masks because it is one, universal, undeniable need. As soon as I mentioned food, you found an example — and a pretty strong example of you own parents — denying themselves food for your sake. I know this happens. I know because I’ve done that myself. And I also know it’s not a viable strategy. You will be weak. You will get sick. Your ability to provide in the future will be compromised. You’ll have created your own crisis. And then you’re in a situation where you need to rely on charity instead of providing it.

A little bit of selfishness is a good thing.

Coming back to safe places, they were created because there was a need. Necessity is the mother of all inventions. Self expression, acceptance and camaraderie may not be primary needs, but that doesn’t make them unimportant. That some seek to misuse the existence of these places is unfortunate. I do think it’s a loud minority creating the backlash though.

Writer of fiction, blogs and erotica. Frequency in that order. Popularity in reverse.

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