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Helping is a voluntary act offered to somebody in need of assistance with or without anticipated reward. This act intends to rescue, to comfort and to share with an individual or a group of individuals, which requires help. On the other hand, altruism is an act of loving others as you love yourself, selflessness, self sacrifice and helping others without expectation of a pay. Therefore, this paper discusses help and altruism from different perspectives as viewed by various authors from different fields of professions.

Caring is the best virtue we can receive from the society. Roses’ case was pathetic, and she expected a helping hand from her society, instead no one was ready to offer her help. In this regard, Rose expresses the limitations of the social welfare programs. Instead of helping the victim, the society demands from her (Bibb, 1991). Everyone in the society cannot exist on his/her own. Without others, one will emotionally feel lonely, spiritually disturbed and intellectually poor. Therefore for one’s wholeness in life, one needs a teacher to think positively, a friend to share with and be spiritually connected.  The moral duty of a man is to sacrifice for others or living for the sake of others. A man exists because others exist and others exist because a man exists. This is the principle of altruism (Fehr & Renninger, 2004). Help is an act of selflessness where a person considers helping others without selfish motives and personal interests (Marques, 2007). Lastly, when a patient offers a gift to a doctor as appreciation, the latter must welcome it without any question unless the motive of the patient is corruptive. The gifts often mean seeking the doctor’s attention only towards him/her (Gaufberg, 2007).

Values underlying Author’s Perspective. Rose in her story, realizes her own value to others, and her potential to assist others by washing and ironing their clothes. Therefore, the author portrayed the value of self reliance. The author’s perspective on altruism is that helping behavior should be voluntary and unconditional. The compassion towards the needy should be intrinsic in nature to an extent that the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the needy are to be addressed without apportioning blames (Bibb, 1991).

Marques (2007) puts emphasis on value-aided altruism. The emphasis is on selflessness as opposed to egocentrism or selfishness. Selflessness is an act of self-denial for the sake of others or giving peoples the first priority in terms of needs attendance. This valued overrides selfishness self-oriented helping behavior. Selfishness is self-oriented act, being malice and greedy when offering help to others (Marques, 2007).

Fehr and Renninger (2004) approach helping behavior from a different perspective. To them, altruism is explicitly voluntary but implicitly conditional. The help might thus appear to be generally given without any conditions, yet the person helped is expected to pay back in the future. This kind of help is not genuinely voluntary. According to Gaufberg (2007), the relationship between the physicians is highly valuable. Helping behavior should be free of discrimination, bias or any other form of social prejudice. The author clearly underscores the need for unbiased support for the needy. With or without a gift from the needy, help should be extended to those whose welfare is at stake.   

The book On Caring stresses the need to consider the human needs as organized from the basic to the secondary (Mayeroff, 1971). Thus, the most basic needs of humanity should be given priority in all altruistic endeavors. This implies that the fundamental necessities of the needy should be addressed by social workers before attending to other vulnerable people, whose needs are not necessarily basic and fundamental.

Strengths and Limitations. Each of the perspectives given has its strengths and limitations. All the authors remind us that the world is not about one’s self or only about our families and relatives but is all about community as a whole. Rose’s story reminds social workers to carry out their duty of helping and not to undermine others. Helping behavior that is guided with values also helps one to be emotionally fit and to think of the other person as needy. Helping behavior also benefits the needy intellectually since he/she gains from cognitive support. The theory of help and altruism encourages self sacrifice just to see others at a safer side of life.

The ideas presented by the different authors have various limitations. The author bases his perspectives on the assumption that the help providing individuals and agencies are all guided by ideal moral codes, which is not necessarily the case. Extrinsic motivation drives most if not all of the incidences of altruism. This can derail development in a society since when an individual pursues his/her own best interests and motives, he/she will strive to achieve better results as opposed to one sacrificing his/her interests for the sake of others (Marques, 2007). The doctor/ patient relation can lead to discrimination of other patients in the hospital. The closeness can cause the physician to divert his/ her most crucial services to one patient for an anticipated gain. This is the violation of professional norms (Gaufberg, 2007).

In conclusion, the basic principle of help is that man’s existence depends on the existence of others.  One should be eager to serve others while he also receives service in return. Self sacrifice in the society is a virtue and a conduct that should be encouraged. This should be the heart of a “good Samaritan” who prioritizes the needs of others than selfish. In this world everybody needs to be encouraged, comforted, and boosted morally, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.

Code: Sample20

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