Kidnapping Presidents: Self-regarding and other-regarding actions | Logan Sullivan




Self-work is vital, though it rarely translates directly into widespread improvement within the global causes that need the most help. And living in a circumstance where you can stream this podcast, you are empowered to impact those causes that need the most help. Unfortunately, we tend to sometimes believe our self-regarding behavior (those actions that impact us, and incidentally leave us to rub off on those closest to us) directly impacts the wider world. Through other-regarding actions directly targeting the wider would, we can reach those most in need. And luckily, we don’t have to pick between these two types of ethics. And believing in one route towards making the world a better place does not mean we have to ignore the other route or deem it less valuable.

We can meditate and send positive thoughts, or pray, if that’s what we want to call it, and we can do yoga and read philosophy and walk on our paths of personal growth, spiritual expansions, and whatever else it is we believe a healthy life consists of. AND we can donate to evidence-based, high-impact initiatives, we can volunteer our time where we can most achieve impact (not just where we feel like we’re doing good), we can write letters to our representatives, spread good ideas as wide as our reach spans, bring attention to underrepresented causes, we can conduct research on topics that can improve the world if this is our strength, we can offer our unique skill set to a cause we believe in instead of volunteering in an unskilled position at the soup kitchen, and that list goes on, and on, and on.

With all this in mind, its important to maintain a balance between self-love and selflessness, between prioritizing personal joy and prioritizing how we bring wellbeing to others, between self-regarding and other-regarding ethics. And its up to each of us to pay attention to what type of balance works best within our own lives. Where is the point at which you are caring for yourself enough to assure you remain energized and effective at caring and acting for others?

When we’re aware of the actions we take and we can differentiate who is benefiting from these actions — ourselves, our social circles, or our wider global circles — we more easily find this balance of personal joy, of deeper seeded health and happiness, and that type of fulfillment in knowing with a high level of confidence that we’re doing good, that we’re creating change, that we’re living a life that will maximize the difference between the world in which we live and the one in which we were never born.


A very special thank you to HÄANA (Violinist, vocalist and producer) and Cello Joe for allowing me to use their beautiful music throughout this episode. They are two of my favorite artists and I’m super happy to be able to share their music with you all. You can find HÄANA on SoundCloud, on Facebook, and on iTunes, and Cello Joe on SoundCloud, on Facebook, on YouTube, and on Band Camp.

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