I was reading an article on Boingboing today (yup - it must mean I'm back to being bored) about the neuroscience of altruism.
I was pleased to read that the study being quoted found that altruism is more a result of people being consierate of others rather than a roundabout selfish impulse meant to bring about pleasure and contentment to the doer - thus not altruistic at all.
I like to think that I am generally a considerate person who often performs altruistic tasks (though not for jerks - jerks are jerks and they can kiss my ass!).
I've noticed, however, that this sort of behaviour can be met with strange reactions in others; often the person will question my motive or even be startled, instead of simply saying thanks or smiling. This led me to believe that not all people are as considerate of others. This sort of behaviour was unfamiliar to them.
I always think that's pretty darn sad.