As a philosopher, I must warn you that your initial belief in a passion
of helping other people sends up red flags all over the place. I`d
strongly encourage you to read Ayn Rand`s, "The Virtue of Selfishness
." Not the version with Nathaniel Brandon, but the version written alone, by Rand.
Understand that there`s nothing intrinsically wrong with desiring to
help other people, being charitable. However, at your age, you`ve been
put through the modern educational system and its brainwashing toward
The difference between altruism and charity or helping others for gain,
is that in altruism, you sacrifice high values for lower values. In
other words, you`re going to have to make a living in this world, one
way or another, and if you choose to give away all your labor, skills,
ideas, and work for no money, how long before you starve to death?
On the other hand, you can certainly build a business and earn a lot of
money while at the same time helping people. A great example is in
customer service, where you go strongly toward helping people with
product education, business assistance, and so forth, yet still make a
profit. Not "profiteering," but a rational, reasonable profit.
To make a passion of helping others is to shut down your own
personality, and the results of that will be A Very Bad Thing. :-)
There are countless companies that, if they didn`t exist, would leave a
tremendous void in life. Think about the automobile industry, or the
airline industry. Then think about the pharmaceutical or medical
research and technology companies. All of these have helped humanity to
live in much better conditions than ever before. Yet they`ve done it
because it was profitable.
Then think of the government, which speaks of helping people for no
gain. They have the largest budget in all of history, with the most
amount of waste. At the same time, the unbelievable failures an
"slipped through the cracks" examples are everywhere. As people from
another generation used to say, "As soon as you hear someone say `I`m
from the government, and I`m here to help you,` run away as fast as you