We do have a need to give love as well as receive it.
Friendship. A relatively recent study in the States shows that 1 in 4 people state they have no close friendships. You would think that friendship would be a clear thing and perhaps one of the simplest parts of human experience, but is it?
It gets over analysed a lot. People have a lot of insecurities, and in our culture at least, there is an expectation put on us of independence that gets in the way.
We live in a culture where it is difficult to trust, and in the west we tend to be especially guarded. So establishing real connections can be difficult except in extreme situations, and then for some reason we forget all that and just “help”. So maybe instinctual to some degree? It has an instinctual element, yes. In fact, recent psychological research puts a hole in the mass hysteria theory. When populations are under stress they actually seem to get calmer and more centered, more cooperative.
But why is it difficult? Trust. We don’t trust anyone or anything anymore. Trust is indeed the first and perhaps primary element of friendship. Why have we lost trust? It’s socialized. We are taught that “others” are bad, whoever the demon is at the moment. Because we are so dependent on the media for information, we trust what we hear even more than what we know and see.
Perhaps our expectations are too high regarding trust. We expect people to act in a certain way when we should just trust them to act in their way? Actually, our expectations are too low. Humans have got things all backwards. They think they can have facts about a person and make objective judgements. They think that there really is a social order that people should serve, and if they don’t, this is judged a moral failing.
But yes, people for one expect “selflessness”. It’s even present in the newer spiritual sectors. This idea that if you have desires, ambitions, or ego, you are not to be trusted. In my experience, it’s the selfless advocate of “facts” and institutions that is to be feared. The religious zealot who ignores large portions of the teaching of their faith in favour of protecting its integrity.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.