What If...

What would you do if you were in a situation that demanded you put yourself in harm's way to help someone else? We all like to think that we are good people, so of course we would help the other person over ourselves....BUT, you can't say that's true without actually ever experiencing it...and sometimes even if you would in one scenario doesn't mean you would in other scenarios which would be more personally painful or difficult for you. It is easy to SAY you would act nobly, much harder to actually DO so.

Now, what if that situation played out everyday, just in a way that you were intentionally or unintentionally unaware of?

I imagine if we can't see the situation then it is a highly unlikely possibility that we choose the more righteous path.

Do we damn ourselves by our actions everyday, looking out for ourselves rather than for others? Do we damn ourselves even more when we try to hide that fact behind claims of how much we actually do sacrifice or with excuses of how opportunities to help are nowhere to be found anyways? I think so.
shannonymous shannonymous
18-21, F
4 Responses Dec 8, 2012

I agree. Sound logic right here.

ha ha thanks...i try to be logical at least like 10% of the time

You do a good job. You are a smart girl.

:) thank you

It's eat or be eaten. And you always smell good.

Well if I ate you I am sure I would smell great.

She looks kind of old, so she might be a bit over ripe and give you gas.

awww thanks man *eyes tear up*

Huh. I'd like to think I'd help someone or be self-sacrificial in any situation. But I was talking about the exact same thing with Michael last night and he said he wouldn't be (at least not if it put him in danger) because the first thing he would always be thinking about is me.

So I guess it's a catch-22 for me too. On one hand, I'd be glad to help anyone. But on the other, I wouldn't want to put myself in danger for the sake of the one person I love... Ahh, it's a tough decision. And I think people are inherently lazy. But when all the circumstances line up just right, I'd like to think people are more helpful than not!

Here is your cake. And you're free to munch it too.

I have been thinking lately about this quote: "It's much better to promise nothing and try to give everything, than to promise everything and give nothing at all." -Kid Cudi

I agree and disagree with you. Yes we do focus on ourselves most of the time, but there are situations which social norms allow us to recognize when we can and should help others, such as keeping a door open behind you for someone else or asking someone if they need help if they look like they're struggling with something. These social norms make it easier to help. We;re more likely to help people if we know that we can recognize it as a situation in which we should help them as opposed to a more ambiguous one which might make us feel more hesitant because we don't know if we should or shouldn't help. And also there's so much you have to do every day in life for yourself that there's just not enough time to stop and help every person who needs it. But also so many jobs involve helping people which makes it even less of a problem. If you feel like you want to help people more, then you should get a job where you can help people instead of working at a job which makes you feel cut off from people.

Always monitor the social norm. I wear a rabbit on my head and I collect bat guano. That being said, I'd never lend a helping hand for less than 30% interest.

"we know that we can recognize it as a situation in which we should help them as opposed to a more ambiguous one" I think you are absolutely right here. Sometimes I wonder though whether we do things that are *obviously* right just so we can feel better about ourselves and tell ourselves how good of people we are while at the same time ignoring all the things which may take more work or may be harder to rationalize.

We do help others to make ourselves feel better, either directly from helping them, or to avoid the guilt of not having helped them. It helps keep our self esteem up and from being depressed. Anyway, why I don't think it matters why we do it, because helping others when you can is the right thing to do, and it's what keeps society functional and people feeling like they're in a safer and warmer community.
You're right that people sometimes avoid helping each other if it's harder to help them or know how to help them (at least that's what I think you mean). I learned that in my social psychology course. There are experiments which back it up. The best way to fix that problem would be to educate people on how to recognize those less clear kind of situations and how to help others.
I think usually if there's a problem you will see it. Even if you can't understand what's wrong, or just get a bad feeling about it, you can research it and find out if there's some sort of issue related to it.

i agree except that I dont think every problem is solvable by research, or even for that matter with logic. Sometimes the right thing is not the logical thing. And sometimes research can worsen problems for which such answers are easily overshadowed by more convenient or logically clearer/simpler ones.

I think life is too complex for human logic to comprehend...but that when we embrace the totality of our human abilities, which includes both reason and feeling, that we are able to see things from a much larger perspective.

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