You are not alone, there are huge amounts of literature and philosophical theories that relate to altruism. The argument is basically does altruism exist? Altruism is doing things that do not benefit yourself in anyway. It is being selfless and showing concern for the well-being of others over oneself. People who do good deeds, who help the old lady on the road, who bring their friend their favourite chocolate when they're sad, volunteering to help disabled people to ride horses, or donating money to charity often do it because they want to help others. Even though these things cost them, in time, money, effort, they choose to do them because they will help somebody else. The other side to altruism is that it does not technically exist. The argument is that altruism cannot exist because human beings are at base, selfish creatures. When we do something to help others, we do it because it makes us feel good. Whatever the cost of the donation, the time, the effort, it equals out with how good we feel about ourselves. Personally, I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with believing altruism doesn't exist. I think it's great to know that for each person who does something nice, it makes them feel good. Imagine a world where that was the norm? Feeling good after doing a good deed activates the reward system in the brain, it makes us feel good and it makes us want to do it again (like gambling in a way). The fact that you do something good and you do it for reasons that benefit yourself, does not devalue the good deed that has been done. The soup still feeds the poor, your friend still feels loved and the ducklings get to not be squashed on the road. The more people can do things without expecting an explicit reward or acknowledgment, just for their own happiness, the more good deeds would happen. Just look at random acts of kindness as an example.