Prosocial Behavior

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There is a saying that goes, “No human is an island”. This statement is not only true from the economical sense but also in the social sense. Humans being social animals must interact with other humans not only to get a sense of belonging but is also a proven means of maintaining a healthy life. Considering how important social relationships have a big impact on the lives of humans we in our daily interactions can have considerable effects on the lives of others without our knowledge

In the following essay we will be highlighting those effects that our good deeds have on our lives as well as to those around us. In our daily interactions in the course of the day we get to interact with a wide variety of people, each of them dealing with a different circumstances in life and as a result of that they all will be in different moods. For this exercise with each engagement we will try to relate with them with a view of helping them and see whether our prosocial acts will all be in vain or will have a noticeable difference in both of the involved parties.

The first encounter that I had in a social setting was situated in a public service vehicle. Having boarded the vehicle I took the seat closest to the do being as it would be the most convenient for me to get out of the van. As I sat there waiting for the vehicle to have full capacity so that we can all depart there came an old Hindu couple. As I sat there I observed the difficulty they were having in getting in to the vehicle. Considering all the seats near the door were already occupied, the task would even be more difficult for them as they would need to slowly and steadily need to get access to the hind seats. As we sat there observing how they were struggling to get in the vehicle I took the step of moving to the hide seat so that I could at least leave the space for at least one of them. Little did I know, my simple and speech less act compelled another person who had sat next to me to also move, and as a result the old couple ended up getting adjacent seats next to each other. The couple soon alighted in the next spot and also easily accessed the door as they got out. From the back I could see the joy in their faces, even though they did not say it there was a general mood of appreciation in their faces.

Soon after we reached the final destination and we all alighted from the vehicle. As I was heading to school I observed the people who were passing across me and I couldn’t help but wonder what could be going on in their lives and the challenges there could be dealing with in their lives. Everybody on the surface seemed to be aright but obviously this could not be the case. As I was walking down the street a lady was struggling to drag a suitcase, each time covering a short distance and then pausing to catch a break. Being a random person at first I did not know how to generally approach her in order to help her. This however is not as easy as it sounds, especially with the going trends in which some people can offer to help others carry their luggage only to later on steal from them. So first and foremost I needed to gain the trust of the lady in order for me to lend a helping hand.

Finally I figured out the easiest and surest way to gain her trust. This could only be achieved with the truth. I consoled myself that I had nothing to lose and I approached her and greeted her and then started conversing with her where in the process offered to lend her a hand carrying the luggage as we continued to talk. While I was at it I told her of the research I was conducting and asked on her view on the matter. She opened me to her line of thought which I couldn’t help but agree. She pointed out the fact that these prosocial acts done performed not only have a short term or immediate effect, but also they may have long term implications in the future. For you at the moment the good acts may end up altering the mood of that person and help them deal positively with the daily stressors. However it is very unlikely for the person who you did the act to forget and considering that now he will be feeling indebted to you he will likely repay the good did if you happen to interact with them in future.

This seemingly little acts that are promoted by empathy and the mindset of helping others helps in reducing aggressive behavior, as well as aggression related thoughts. As I reached to school I tried to continue exercising my prosocial acts to those around me often without the use of words but by my actions. One instance was when I meet the janitor cleaning a certain pathway that I used to use, normally I would just pass ignoring him pretending to be in a hurry but today things we little bit different. I approached there with a general feeling of happiness with a smile on my face, greeted him and I waited for him to be done with that section before I could pass through. Finally when he was done I gently passed through. He noted my act of patience that day and thanked me for it.

It was here that I also discovered that these prosocial acts not only have an effect on the people who we show them to, but that they also affect us. Being told the simple thank you, ended up brightening my mood even more as my spirits were further lifted. It was that, in addition to the knowledge that I had helped brighten other people’s mood that made me generally happier.

I proceeded to class with a slight smile on my face. As I made my way through the class as I headed to my seat, I tried to ask about how they were all going as I wished them a fruitful and eventful day. And it could be seen clearly that a smile can be infectious. As I sat down I thought of the next way in which I could brighten another person’s day. It finally came to me, and my person of interest was the next person that would occupy my seat after I left that class. I removed my sticky note and thought of a motivating massage with which I would leave on my desk for the next person to read. Although I wouldn’t be there to observe his reaction to my note, I was almost certain it would have an impact to his, or her day. Considering that I wasn’t aware of what expertly they may be going through in life I tried to generally to give inspiring messages of hope, and may be that was exactly the kind of motivation the needed to press on with life.

AT the end of the day having now realized that these prosocial have an effect on both the dower of the act and the person it is done to, I had to split my analysis in to those two respective parts. First point of analysis highlights the relationship between prosocial acts and daily stress. Apart for the first case where I practically reduced the stress of the couple who were having difficulties accessing a seat in the vehicle, prosocial acts also indirectly help in the reduction of daily stress. This comes about for the fact that those acts will generally help in improving the general mood of the recipients. This further goes to reduce the aggressive behavior in their recipients. Often when dealing with daily stressors the normal reaction is usually with aggression, which is supported with the bad mood of the recipient, so in directly changing the mood of the recipient you will end up indirectly the chances in which he would reach later on to daily stressors in a negative way.

Secondly we will have to look at the effects on the recipient and for this case I will try to analyze the effect that the proposal acts had on my day, and if there were any positive changes what I would wish to change about my life in the future. I noticed that is was not only the mood of the recipient that ended up getting lifted by my own also. Fist and foremost it was the knowledge that knowing that I had helped another person deal with his/her challenged that made me feel good about myself. I noticed that with each act I felt better and better about myself to the point that as I met a challenging situation that would generally upset me under normal circumstances I would approach the matter with appositive mindset. This was exemplified when later on in the day when a person stepped on my feet and apologized, normally I would react to such situations with a negative attitude and often with harsh language. However this was not the case today as I was more understanding and reasoned that it could also happen to me. Considering that I had spent the whole day trying to think of what others were going through it wouldn’t be fair for me to insult the person not knowing the challenges he was dealing with.

It was then that I finally realized that these prosocial acts not only affect the emotional state of the subjects but that it is also imperative to the mental health of humans. And it it to that note that I decided that I would continue to show empathy and always be willing to help others because in the process I will also be helping my self.