Famous YouTuber MrBeast paid for 1,000 blind people to have surgery to help them see. Instead of appreciating his good deed, some people on the internet said that his act of kindness was selfish.

Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Brittany: Hi, Ronni.

Ronni: Hey, Brittany.

Brittany: I think we can all agree that doing nice things for other people is a good thing, right? Yeah, right. Acts of service have a huge impact on the world, and they can have a ripple effect. Ripple means if you’ve ever thrown a rock in water, you’ll notice it has those rings around it. So one thing you do can impact a bigger sphere of things, but why do people do nice things for others? Is it because they want to help or is it to make other people see how good they are? Like, oh, look at what a good person I am. Or maybe they do it because it makes them feel good inside. My question today is, does it really matter why people do nice things as long as they’re serving other people and no one is getting hurt in the process? Does it really matter? And some people think so. So, I want to talk about a big word today called all truism. Altruism means that it’s like the belief that people should do nice things for others because they are selfless. They’re not thinking about themselves, and they’re thinking only of serving other people. That’s the only thing on their mind. And some people think that every act of service should be altruistic and that if it’s not, it’s bad. But one thing I want you to be thinking about today is anybody ever truly altruistic and should we even care? And to answer this, we’re going to talk about a YouTube celebrity named MrBeast now.

Ronni: Oh, my kids are obsessed with MrBeast. They buy the MrBeast chocolate bars. We’ve gone and gotten MrBeast Burgers. No, we’re pretty big fans over in our family.

Brittany: I’m glad you said that because I wasn’t sure. Not my brother nor my sister-in-law are pretty strict on what my niece and nephews watch, but I know they watch a lot of MrBeast, so I didn’t know if we could tell kids to go watch it, but that helps me out if your kids watch, because I think it’s, from what I’ve seen, I’m like, no, that’s family-friendly.

Ronni: Yeah. Well, of course, it depends on the age. My five-year-old, if I only had a five-year-old, probably would not be watching it, but he tags along with his older brothers and sisters. But say my 11-year-old, it feels like more appropriate, but I would say it’s more kind of a preteen and up show, but still.

Brittany: Yeah. No, that helps. Thank you. So, MrBeast, like I said, is one of the most popular YouTubers out there, and he’s been making videos since I think he was like 16, right? He’s only 24 now. And his channel is all about doing nice things for people. Sometimes there are silly things like he bought an island for his friends, which was really funny, but he makes a lot of money with this YouTube channel. He is a very rich kid, but so his whole thing is doing nice things for people, and that.

Ronni: Five kids. I just want to say, this because my kids are always telling me that they want to become MrBeast and make millions of dollars. So, just to let you know he was able to do this, but it’s unlikely that anyone else will be able to do this. So, you can aspire to do great things as we’re going to learn that he does. But it was a very lucky thing that he fell into this.

Brittany: That’s a good point. But he takes care of a lot of people in need, and these are the videos I love. He’ll just randomly go in a Walmart or grocery store and just ask somebody a question and give them $10,000. It’s nuts the things he does. So he makes a lot of money, obviously, but he uses that money to help others, and it’s really inspiring, honestly. So, his latest thing is he helped 1000 people who were blind restore their site. Now, not everybody who’s blind can have their sight restored, but there are some levels of people who are blind that can, but the expensive or the surgery is really expensive, which is crazy. I think it only takes 10 minutes, but it’s really expensive.

Ronni: Oh, really? Is it a laser surgery?

Brittany: You, I don’t know. I would assume yes. I can’t think of what else it would be. So yeah, I assume yes, but obviously, this is amazing, right? A thousand people were able to see them because MrBeast paid for them, and the videos are beautiful. People are crying. There was one guy who said he missed driving so much, and he was so happy he had his site back. And so not only did MrBeast pay for the eye surgery, he bought him a Tesla. I want to say I could be wrong. And I think the other thing was he paid for another guy’s, his son’s college. He was talking about how happy he was to see his son or something. I may be wrong enough. Oh no, no. He has somebody’s money. I don’t remember. But he did something super nice. He always does. So, I can’t look at this and think, what a bad thing. There’s really no way, in my opinion, to look at this and be like, what a bad thing he did. Everybody’s happy. But of course, Ronni, the world never surprises me these days, or always surprises me these days, rather, because people get mad over everything. The internet, as it does started erupting with people getting mad. And some people were even saying, how dare you cure the blind by curing the blind? You’re acting like there’s something wrong with being blind, and you’re being what they call an ableist, meaning you’re being anti-people who can’t walk or can’t see. And that was shocking to me because I don’t think being blind does not make you any less of a person, obviously. But if you couldn’t see, wouldn’t you want to be able to see again, wouldn’t that just change your life? And somebody else said, how do we know these blind people even wanted to have their sight back? They’re being exploited and thinking every single one of them could have said no, but they weren’t. They were so overcome with happiness. So, that was just really crazy to me. But that wasn’t where they stopped. It was a whole other thing where then they were saying, well, this is bad because MrBeast didn’t do this out of the goodness of his heart. He’s doing this for views and he’s only doing this for money. And so that’s where this altruism thing comes in. He wasn’t doing it because he’s a good person. He did a good thing, but not because he’s a good person. So, we’re going to insult him for that. This was so funny to me because one, his goal, I think he said, was to give away all his money at some point by doing these nice things for people. And so it’s funny to me that the only reason he gets this money is through views on his video. So, the reason, yes, maybe he did do it for views, that’s his whole job, but by getting views, he’s able to help more people. And so to me, that just seems like great. And the other actually.

Ronni: I was going to say about, I dunno if you saw this, but there’s actually a documentary on MrBeast, which talks about, I watched it with my kids. They wanted to show it to me about how he got started. And so he started off doing, I think it was just video game reviews or something. And then how he went from that to, he started getting a little bit of money for ads or something. Then he said, Hey, if I get enough viewers, then I’m going to give this much money. I think it was like a homeless guy on the corner was the first thing he did. That’s how he started. But it’s an interesting documentary to show how he started this whole process. But he’s very clear that yes, it started because he was getting views and he was saying, the more views I get, the more money I will give. So yeah.

Brittany: And you’d think that people would be okay with that. But no, they’re insulting him because now they’re saying he’s not doing it for the right reason. But here’s what really gets me. How many times have we heard people say, that Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon, and Elon Musk, should be giving all their money away to help the poor or help the needy. We hear this all the time, and then here comes MrBeast who’s doing this. And now they’re mad because they’re still complaining.

Ronni: They’re still complaining.

Brittany: So, it’s like, you can’t win with these things. It’s so silly to me. And so Twitter has been getting mad. They’ve been saying all these things, and MrBeast kind of struck back and said a good point where he’s like, well, the government and stuff are not going to step in and do this, so why isn’t it bad that I’m doing this? And so there’s this big question of is whether it selfish for him to act this way. And I want to talk about that because I think the term selfish is misused a lot in society. Now, I think when we think of the word selfish, we think of being bad and thinking of yourself. But there’s kind of a version of this. And Ayn Rand was big on this, and I don’t always agree with everything Ayn Rand believed, but Ayn Rand believed that selfishness was kind of good. She talked about the virtue of selfishness. And part of that was that she said, if you do something like let’s say the free market, let’s say you invent something because you’re incentivized to make money, but let’s even invent medicine. But that medicine helps other people that selfish need because people would think that making money is selfish. I’m saying that in scare quotes is actually helping someone else. So, acting in self-interest is actually not a bad thing, is what Ayn Rand has said. And I think that’s interesting because almost every act we do in some way is selfish in the way Ayn Rand means it. And what I mean by that is, let’s say nothing is really purely altruistic, because if I do something nice for someone, let’s say there’s somebody who’s really, really poor and can’t afford food, and I don’t like that. I want to fix that problem. I want to do what I can to fix that problem, and I want to help them get food, I think every person’s going to feel good inside after that. I don’t think anyone’s going to feel neutral, meaning they don’t feel anything. I think they’re going to feel good that they did something. Maybe that’s not like, oh, I’m such a good person. They don’t have to be saying that, but I think they’re going to feel that level of joy that they help somebody. And so these people would be like, well, that’s selfish. You shouldn’t do it. It’s just silly to me. I think of imagine telling somebody who was receiving food, some charity from someone telling them, you shouldn’t take that. This person is going to feel good about themselves, and they’re not doing it for the right reasons. It’s like, wait, what? I think you’d still want that food if you were struggling. So, this whole thing just seemed really weird to me because, especially as somebody who believes in individualism and limited government, I think individuals should be doing acts of service and offering charity instead of the government offering welfare and charity, because one, they never do it Well, it’s never a good system and it doesn’t work, and it’s coming from our tax dollars. But here comes MrBeast helping to cure people’s blindness. And somehow people found a way to get mad. And that’s this wokeness culture that you can’t even just do something nice. You have to do something nice for the right reason. And the right reason has to be whatever somebody else thinks the right reason is. But I want to point out something else that I think is really important that people are missing, and that is, I’ve talked about the domino effect in another episode, but just that if one person does something and then another person does something like it, people are inspired. And I can’t tell you how many videos they’ve seen on YouTube and TikTok of younger kids who want to do what MrBeast is doing, and they don’t have as much money, but some of these people do have a fair amount to give away to people, and they’re doing the same thing. They want to be like MrBeast. So, now they’re doing acts of charity.

Ronni: Wait, I feel like I should chime in, only because earlier at the beginning of the episode said, my kids want to be like MrBeast. And by that, I meant my kids want to make millions and millions of dollars. That’s what I don’t think is going to be able to be replicated again. However, as you’re saying, the domino effect, you can still do acts of kindness in your own way. You might be able to have a little bit more money so that you can provide more acts of service. Maybe all you can do is help shovel snow for your neighbor. Maybe that’s the only act of kindness that you can do. So yes, the domino effect can still be in place, but as far as doing exactly what MrBeast does, that might not happen. But there’s so many other ways to still show acts of kindness that’s trying to clarify that.

Brittany: That’s a great point. Absolutely. And in this case, it’s just like maybe you get inspired by MrBeast. So, I don’t think, one, I don’t, anything people do is truly altruistic in the sense that you don’t feel good about yourself, you don’t do something and feel nothing. I think you’re always going to feel something. There’s always going to be some sort of, I did the right thing moment. And two, who caress I think is the big thing. If you do something for somebody, and again, nobody’s hurt in the process of this, and you’re serving someone that’s great. We want people to step in and serve people. So, it was just really funny to me that MrBeast got attacked. So we’ll wrap it up there. Talk to your parents if you want to watch MrBeast. I can’t tell you which episodes are good and what are, and I know Ronni said her older kids like to watch ’em. So, do something nice for somebody today and be inspired by the people who do. So, as always, don’t forget to like and subscribe to the podcast. And until next time, Ronni, we’ll talk to you soon.

Ronni: All right, see you soon.