A peasant had in his garden an apple-tree, which bore no fruit, but only served as a perch for the sparrows and grasshoppers. He resolved to cut it down, and, taking his ax in hand, made a bold stroke at its roots.
The grasshoppers and sparrows entreated him not to cut down the tree that sheltered them, but to spare it, and they would sing to him and lighten his labors. He paid no attention to their request, but gave the tree a second and a third blow with his ax.
When he reached the hollow of the tree, he found a hive full of honey. Having tasted the honeycomb, he threw down his ax, and, looking on the tree as sacred, took great care of it.
Self-interest alone moves some men.
This fable is from the book, The 48 Laws of Power
by Robert Greene. It shows that whenever we ask for the help of another person, never assume they will do so out of their own mercy or gratitude. Try not to make your appeal based on past favors or deeds because at the end of the day, we’re all human which means we must look after ourselves first and foremost.which means we always must put on our own mask before helping others
Even the act of giving money to a homeless person can be done out of self-interest because of how it makes us feel afterwords. Yes, we should do our best to be good onto others and to offer help when needed, but anytime you must make an appeal to another, first ask what you can offer that would appeal to their own interest.
A modern version of this ideology is even discussed in Adam Grant’s great book, Give and Take
, which became a best selling book preaching why we should be more of a giver instead of a taker. The book didn’t sell millions to inspire its readers to just be do-gooders though because Adam’s primary message is that you’ll reap greater benefits and rewards long-term by doling out free help and advice in the short term.
So, remember to put on your own mask before helping others and 🍺 to a great week ahead!