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An Anonymous Act of Kindness Essay


The fundamentals of altruism, personal and professional social responsibility, and codependency

A recent anonymous act of kindness I have performed was donating time to the children from orphanage. In my opinion, it is extremely important to help those, who have no opportunity to satisfy certain primary needs. I suppose that children require more care and love than any other members of our society.

Generally, I would like to point out that it is upbringing, which determines the character of a child. So, when we show attention to children, we increase their chances to be happy.

One may suggest that my act of kindness can be called altruism; simply speaking it is; however, the issue of altruism is not so easy to disclose. There are many contradictions concerning the meaning of the term. The most widespread definition is mostly associated with seeking the welfare of people who need care.

On the other hand, one may suggest that altruism is a selfish act as people do good things and expect that one day the favor will be returned. “In fact, there is some question as to whether human altruism actually exists, or whether what we think of as altruism is actually just enlightened self interest” (Costello, 2002, para. 5).

When speaking about personal social responsibility, one is to keep in mind that the phenomenon identifies personal assumptions, motives, etc. in relation to social issues. Personal social responsibility means a person understands the importance of his or her biases and beliefs.

On the other hand, the kind of responsibility evaluates personal changes in one’s belief concerning some social issues. Such personal changes are evaluated through communication or contact time with other persons, organizations or groups. The phenomenon also demonstrates empathy for the persons through contact time and applies some philosophical theories towards the corresponding issues.

Professional social responsibility is mostly associated with an affirmation that the phenomenon emphasizes performance of codes of ethics and standards of conduct. In other words, professional social responsibility means a person is to be honest, respectful, kind, etc.

“Besides these general obligations that everyone shares, professionals have additional obligations that arise from the responsibilities of their professional work and their relationships with clients, employers, other professionals, and the public” (Loui, 2009, p. 2).

When speaking about codependency, one is to keep in mind that the phenomenon is related to physical and emotional sufferings and the methods of coping with stress. “As adults, codependent people have a greater tendency to form relationships with people who are unreliable, emotionally distant, and dependent” (“Codependency: Caring Until It Hurts,” 2006).

Taking into account the respective roles of altruism, personal and professional social responsibility and codependency, it becomes obvious that the relationships with other individuals, organizations and groups seem to be the most common feature of all the phenomena. In other words, a person’s attitude towards certain issues is determined by social relations and various philosophical aspects the issue includes or is based on.

Altruism and psychological principles

When speaking about the relation of altruism to psychology, it is necessary to state that altruism is considered to be the issue of social psychology. According to various psychological investigations, the most widespread approach to altruism seems to be the egocentric approach.

Sociology, psychology, economics and socio-biology are the sciences the egocentric approach is based on. The good habits people are to acquire, the responsibilities (or the duties) people are to follow and the results of people’s behavior are recognized to be the psychological principles of normative ethics altruism applies to.

The impact of altruism on human condition / the limits to the phenomenon

Generally, it should be pointed out that altruism improves a large-scale cooperation among humans.

Moreover, a culture-based approach towards altruism helps transmit numerous behavioral norms using social sciences. Human altruism reminds us of a strong reciprocity, i.e. “a combination of altruistic rewarding, which is a predisposition to reward others for cooperative, norm-abiding behaviours, and altruistic punishment, which is a propensity to impose sanctions on others for norm violations” (Fehr & Fischbacher, 2003, p. 785).

There are some reproductive limitations to altruism, namely functional, sexual and physical. However, of all the types the most influential were functional limitations, as they “had the strongest effect on altruistic decision-making, indicating that people were less likely to help those who exhibit abnormal social behavior” (Fitzgerald, 2009, p. 234).

Altruism and personal/professional responsibilities

Personal and professional responsibilities, which are related to altruism, include the freedom to make choices, taking responsibility for the choices which were made, taking responsibility for various feelings, ideas and thoughts, looking for the good, appreciating different views (or the opposite views), being respectful of other persons, being aware of the choices, etc.

The conclusion

In my opinion, the future of psychology in relation to altruism seems to be rather ambiguous question. As far as most of the scientists say that altruism is mostly associated with the egocentric issue, I can make a conclusion that the concept of altruism will be changed.

In other words, I suppose that cooperating will become the most important aim of the phenomenon. I can prove this. For instance, nobody will deny the fact that the primary aim of altruism is not to dominate or destroy. In other words, a person will always act in his or her best interests.

So, cooperation seems to be the best policy. I suppose there will be partial humanistic approach towards altruism, but generally, the meaning of the phenomenon will be changed. So, to hide selfishness and aggression (the so-called basic instincts), the society will become more altruistic; however, the hidden aim (to protect genetic interests) will always exist.

Finally, I have to say that the perspectives I described are not awful, but realistic. They are based on inherit nature of human beings. It’s time to tell the truth, don’t you think so?

References

Codependency: Caring Until It Hurts. (2006). Web.

Costello, C. (2002). Altruism: Selfless or Selfish. Web.

Fehr, E. & Fischbacher, U. (2003). . Web.

Fitzgerald, C. (2009). Altruism and Reproductive Limitations. Web.

Loui, M. (2009). Ethics and Social Responsibility for Scientists and Engineers. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "An Anonymous Act of Kindness." September 10, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/an-anonymous-act-of-kindness/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'An Anonymous Act of Kindness'. 10 September.

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