When reading the things people post on here, I often reflect on their motives and my own. Why do people spend their time and money contributing to this site? Why do I? People tend not to do things that aren't gratifying, so what do we get out of it?
If I'm being honest with myself, I must admit that a lot of my participation over the years has been driven by a need for external validation. What is the purpose of a sense of purpose but to validate one's life, to be able to say, "There's a reason I'm here"? The line between a genuine desire to help others and the need to gratify one's ego by being the "expert" on something is often blurry.
The fact that I don't get much validation here anymore doesn't mean I need it any less. Of course, I want people to tell me how great I am, how I'm smart and interesting and important to this place. But if I can't have that, I need to figure out how to feel good about myself without it.