A study in the US, designed to assess empathy, altruism, religiousness and spirituality, elicited various responses from the people surveyed. Altruism is a healthy trait to develop. When helping others the helper also benefits from giving themselves unselfishly. It's like sprinkling perfume on a rotten carcass. The odor from the carcass is taken away and the person doing the sprinkling enjoys a better smell after the sprinkling of the perfume. Dr Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi were altruistic and paid for it with their lives. Dr King summed his idea of altruism as:
Love of humanity has positive physiologic effects on the individual showering the love and the recipient of the love. If an altruism center can be found in the brain, then it means we are born with it and all of us can practise it. If we don't practise it now, we can learn to lend a helping hand to a stranger or to a struggling member of our family. This way, the perfume we sprinkle on our neighbor can be smelt on us too, for this is a gift Christ left us - to "love your neighbor as yourself."