April 7, 2011
BEHAVIOR EXPLANATION # 1
1. Behavior Observation/Description (5pts)
One hot September day at around one o’clock, my boyfriend, Jonathan and I were strolling around the city of Downey, searching for a delicious place to have lunch. We then made the decision to grub at In n’ Out. As we walked down Firestone, I noticed an elderly man attempting to illegally cross the street. I was beginning to become concerned for him because the traffic was heavy, and I didn’t want him to get hurt. The man appeared to be about “5””4”, in his late 40’s, pale brown skin, and possibly weighed 150 lbs. He was dressed in semi blue jeans, forest green t-shirt, and a beige jacket. It was easy to assume that the man may have been a mechanic by looking at how grimy his clothing was, it looked as if he had repaired vehicles all morning, but shortly after, it was clear that he wasn’t a mechanic. He finally made his way to the other side of the road, and in a Spanish, yet in an embarrassed voice, he exclaimed, “ Excuse me!” When I turned toward him he said, “ Can you please help me? I don’t know how to speak English, and I was hoping you could translate for me. See I just crossed the border a few days ago, and I am willing to work for three meals a day. Can you ask the owner of this near by hotel, if I can work, even clean, for three meals a day?’’ Luckily, because of my Hispanic background, I was able to comprehend everything he said. I looked at my boyfriend, and insisted that we help this needy immigrated man. I walked up to the cramped front office of Rick’s hotel. The man at the front desk then stood and offered his assistance. By then I had began asking the receptionist if there was anyway this unfortunate man could work around the hotel as a custodian in exchange for three meals a day. The receptionist then looked at me with an unrepentant face, and said, “ No can do.” My heart sank knowing that there was really nothing I could do at this point. Just looking at my reaction, the elderly man sensed the rejection. I turned and told him, “I’m sorry, but he says he can’t help you.” The elderly man felt humiliated and said, “ I apologize, I am so ashamed of having to do this.” I realized the most I could do now, was at least buy him lunch. A Pollo Loco was the closet fast food joint, seeing that we still had quite of a walk to get to In n’ Out, my boyfriend and I purchased a few of the dollar items. Even though the elderly man could not eat with content, knowing his next meal was going to be far within his reach, there was nothing more I could have done. He appreciated the help and the lunch, and later stated, “You are such a blessing.”
2. Concept Identification and Text Definition (2pts)
Altruism (pg.570 Ch.16) “ refers to actions designed to help others with no obvious benefit to the helper.”
3. Student’s Explanation of the Concept (5pts)
Altruism is when somebody feels the need to make an effort in helping the well being of others without receiving any rewards, or emotional benefits.
4. Application (8pts)
My experience that afternoon coincides with each one of the three main factors embedded in altruism. From the moment I saw the immigrated man, I felt sympathy for him. He had just immigrated here, and was helpless. He wanted to work for food, and only knew how to speak Spanish. This man needed help with translations, in order to attempt to find a food-paying job. My first instinct was to translate a few words from Spanish to English in order to assist him. When I realized what the man was asking for, I felt that the right thing to do was to ask the receptionist what he requested. Shortly after, the receptionists denied him a job; I wanted to buy this man lunch. I didn’t expect, nor want anything in return. As my sympathy built up, all I wanted was to do the right thing, and be able to help his well being by feeding him.