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Letter: Fellow Americans, let's trade egoism for altruism

As a U.S. citizen, I am mortified by the extensive egoism that has prevailed in social media and on television over the past two decades. Webster's defines egoism as "the doctrine that self-interest is the proper goal of all human actions." This ...

As a U.S. citizen, I am mortified by the extensive egoism that has prevailed in social media and on television over the past two decades.

Webster's defines egoism as "the doctrine that self-interest is the proper goal of all human actions." This term is the opposite of altruism, "the doctrine that the general welfare of society is the proper goal of an individual's actions."

One would think that, if this country had hope of promoting its own welfare as a whole, the principle of altruism would have been presented to the people long ago as the best way to get along. But as the presence of Internet and television has grown, a widespread focus on egoism has been infiltrating into homes.

This is not to say that caring for the self isn't important. But focusing solely on the self creates divisions.

The truth is that all humans are of the same worth, no matter how different they are. Thus, I would hope that my fellow citizens would strive to regard each other as equals, not competitors.

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And I certainly hope that they will not forget how to love one another.

E.J. O'Neil

East Grand Forks

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