Seriously - I'm not so sure it's anything but the very human self-aggrandizing we do as we over-estimate our impact and "front" the "responsible adult" image and often the smugness that goes with it. Further, I'd love to hear arguments that it didn't start from the testosterone-dripping primal instinct to "outdo" the other males in the species. What about doing something not because "it's your duty", but because somebody needs your help, or that it's just the right thing to do out of fairness or compassion - not that stupid-ass "bootstraps" nonsense.
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Ugh! I'm torn between yours and a49eracct's as Best Answer!.......
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Thx 4 a reasoned & thgt+ answer. My ? lingers as I bel've () doing the right thing is a fnct'n of cmpassn, fairnss, and owning 1s mistakes. I wrk w/ sevrly&m'tply d'abled chd'rn for whom my ptnce is ∞. I b'lve r bst slvs +by empathy &