As a team, we were asked to write a paper on altruism. Or to be more specific, a random act of kindness. The story chosen to write about is a story about a six year old boy by the name of “Dylan” who thought to bring an extra lunch for another boy who was thought to not have lunch money to buy his own. In this paper, the definition of altruism will be examined as well as act itself being explored. Psychological Altruism refers to the behavior that benefits others with no regard to the giver. This undertaken is given for sole motive of benefiting others. Altruistic behavior is a constant choice a person makes every day. Such as, giving money to someone that is begging for money, looks homeless, or hungry on the street, or by simply helping an elderly or handicapped person cross the street. Putting another before putting yourself first and acting in an unselfishly. “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness (King Jr., M.L. (2014)”.
The article in which the team has chosen was about a boy, Dylan, who asked his mother to pack another school lunch along with his own. The reason for bringing the two lunches to school was because another boy only eats fruit cup for lunch, which made Dylan think he does not have any lunch money.
When taking a closer look at the article, it is very clear that Dylan is exhibiting social responsibility. Social responsibility suggests it is an ethical framework that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large. Social responsibility is something that every individual person must perform in order to maintain a balance between the economy and the ecosystems. The responsibility of balancing the two can be passive, by avoiding engaging in socially harmful acts, or active, by performing activities that directly advance social goals. Social responsibilities are intergenerational since the actions of one generation have consequences on those following. Thus, showing Dylan did not do the deed for something in exchange nor was he looking for something for his actions.
Altruism is a powerful form of coping; like a coping mechanism, altruism helps you deal with issues in a way that projects your problems on to others. In a way, you persuade others that your problems are their problems and you want to make them happy which in turn, makes you happy. This is exactly what Dylan did. Dylan persuaded his mother to pack him n extra lunch; in effect he wanted the extra lunch for a child in school who could not afford it. By persuading his mom to pack two lunches, he felt a sense of joy because he was able to bring happiness to someone else. In the fact that Dylan could not persuade his mom to make two lunches, he would have experienced guilt, consequently, his mom would have felt guilt once she found out why Dylan wanted two lunches.
Random acts of kindness are a thing that are not seen too much anymore. Altruism is the selfless concern for the well-being of others. In the article chosen, a little boy asked his mother to pack him two lunches every day for school. When his mother asked why he needed them, he shared that the other was for another little boy. This little boy only had a fruit cup for lunch every day. Acts like this are beautiful and heartwarming. The fact that it came from a child just makes it that much better. I think we need a little more kindness in the world. “Personality develops because of cultural and community influences, especially through language, which is both a social product of the community as well as a means of encouraging particular social thought in the individual (McLeod, S. 1971)”.
- King Jr., M. L. (2014). Walk in the light of altruism. Retrieved from https://www.huffington post.com
- Perceptions and definitions of social responsibility http://inni.pacinst.org/inni/corporate_social_responsibility/standards_defi p.1
- McLeod, S. (1971). Journal of applied social psychology, European Journal of Social Psychology, Retrieved from https://simply psychology
- Website: http:www.cbsnews.com/pictures/stories-fro-2016-that-will-restore-your-faith-in-humanity/6/