When did being selfless backfire?

I am writing an oratory about how putting ourselves second can harm our wellbeing. I guess the title of my question is a bit misleading, as by “being selfless” I mean more of  a situation where someone put their own needs second in a way that caused them to suffer. This concept is different from generosity as it is more an example of someone giving too much to the point where they forget about their own needs, and nobody really ends up benefiting. (Not looking for a firefighter dies rescuing someone from a fire type thing).

IMPORTANT: The examples I am looking for are drastic, as that’s what keeps listeners hooked when listening to an oratory (please keep this in mind; I am not a sadist!) If the example is just about one person, the person must have suffered immensely (physically, mentally) for putting their own needs second. Preferably the example is about something on a larger scale, like a government or group of people ignoring their own needs to help another group, but end up getting taken advantage of, etc. I just need something that will resonate with the audience and emphasize the negative effects of my topic.

Please include sources/links!! 

Thank you so much!!

1 Answer

  • 9 months ago

    How about the First Responders on 9/11 ?  They sure put the lives of other people way beyond their own lives or even their own families.  Some of these ppl lived horrific lives before they passed on.  There is even a US stamp commemorating them now. This is a group of people on a much larger scale, as you mentions.  We owe them a debt of gratitude, as they are/were true Americans. 

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