Final Draft Something that we as people struggle with on a daily basis is our innate characteristic developed as we matured into adults. We think of ourselves as superior in the fact that we have these wired “human” qualities. Yes, these characteristics set us apart from other species in many ways, however not all of them are good. The innate human qualities that will either be our downfall or our success are our competitiveness and empathy for one another. Our competitive qualities as Humans have driven us to stand out from any other species on earth both intellectually and have brought on in many cases violence.
Three in class sources hat discussed some of these qualities of humanity were Better, No Parole Today, and “People like Us”. Outside sources included the documentary “The Cove”, The Age of Empathy, and an online article from Time entitled “The Hero in the Cowboy Hat. ” In the article entitled “The Hero in the Cowboy Hat” the story of a man was recounted: “After the tragic events at the Boston Marathon, a hero in a cowboy hat emerged. Carols Redound was identified as helping Jeff Banyan in a now iconic photograph by Charles Koura that appeared on front pages around the world. Richards)” Some would argue that men are selfish and driven only by self-gain. However many stories have made there way into the media of people dashing into the dust after the tragedy that took place at the Boston Marathon in 2013. These acts of altruism are part of our innate human characteristic to feel one another’s pain. Empathy is defined as the ability to share and understand the feeling of another. Altruistic behavior is the helping of another without anything personal to gain. According to Francs De Walla in The Age of Empathy, “Altruistic behavior is in our biology. One of the most striking stories in De Walla’s book is of an encounter a man at sea has with a pod of dolphins. The Dolphins were encircling the man in a tight knit formation not allowing the man to float outside of the ring. The man was confused at first until he realized that the dolphins were keeping him from the Jaws of an enormous great white shark Just a short distance from the pod of dolphins (Walla). The dolphins could be argued to be displaying empathetic behavior which is even more outstanding because it is for another species.
It is reassuring to know that there is biological programming behind the altruistic behavior that was displayed in the story of both the dolphins and the story of the man in the cowboy hat. The other innate ability that most people consider to be one of our best attributes as humans is our drive to be the best that we can be. To be the best you can be meaner a lot of different things to different people. It can mean being the best athlete, or painter, or in the case of Adult Gander, a surgeon. Adult Gander began his career as a surgeon in 2003.
He had been through the schooling, the competitive programs, late nights, and painstakingly tedious clinical training (Gander). In Gander’s book he describes a time in his career when he wanted to answer the question how do I really matter? To which he goes on to describe ways in which to be a positive deviant. A positive deviant, being somebody who finds ways to put a little kink in the system Just to make themselves feel better, or make the somebody else’s clay (Gangway peg. 2 ) Adult Gangway Is a great example AT ten positive erects that the innate human characteristics of a drive to be the best can have.
There is, however, a darker side to it as well. Humanity does not have a very pretty history. For most of all the History textbooks we have been raging war on one another and trampling over our brothers and sisters to climb to the top of the perpetual food chain. As economics became more important to us people thrived. However the economic accomplishments of some people acted as a negative motivator to there innate qualities. This has lead to many instances where a people have been put under the thumb off more powerful and educated society.
One such historical take over was the conquering of the new world into what now stands as one of the most powerful nations in the world. The Din© people were one of the many native tribes that we tried to assimilate into our American culture. We changed their name to the Navajo, moved them from their homelands, and with the intent of assimilation forced our religion on the Din© children. When the Din© children were in our Christian orphanages we took their traditions of food, religion, and language from them. Not only did we make them believe their traditions were wrong, we forced them to stop (OTOH).
Looking back at this time it was a huge mistake we made as a people, and one that hopefully we have learned from. At some point when the decision was made on the method of how we would assimilate Native Americans, we probably thought we were doing the right thing. We assumed that if we could make them into what our idea off good person was we would be helping them to succeed. One of our innate characteristics as humans is a desire for a competitive edge and to progress to the best we can be, including economically.
In modern day America it has been more and more apparent that we have a class system. The incredibly rich rest upon the top the scale, while the middle class takes up the majority, leaving the lower class at the extremely low end of the spectrum. Many people argue that the roll of the dice determines where you’re placed, and that’s Just what you’ll have to remain as for the majority of your life. However the question of why life is that way is easy to answer. Money is the major contributor for he people of America being placed with higher social standing and importance than others (People Like Us).
Money is something that has the ability to corrupt our drive to become the best we can be. Japanese whaling has been going on for centuries for profit, but only recently has attention been drawn to their new source of profit. Dolphins are harvested for food on a massive scale during the Japanese fishing season. Entire pods are herded together and killed, and only recently have these fishing techniques been brought to attention. The method of killing the dolphins is easy, and the food they produce is ell worth the profit that is made.
It is estimated that currently 23,000 dolphins are killed by the Japanese fishing companies annually (The Cove). One has to ask themselves what is wrong with this picture when you hold it up next to the story of the man being saved by the dolphin pod in The Age of Empathy. Regulations and fishing methods have been put in place since media coverage of dolphin slaughtering. In conclusion, it is safe to say that being human is an imperfect life. From a young age we are molded by our experiences, but the qualities that have held fast to our unmanly are still populously present.
I nose qualities nave proven to De a little unstable, either driving us for what would be considered the greater good or allowing us to ignore our compassion. Empathy is a strong ability that humans have, and looking at our history one could argue that we have a history of turning our backs on this compassion. Our drive to be the best we can be also could be said to be corrupted by the growing importance of economic gain. Being human meaner we Just have to accept that it is going to be a battle between the negative aspects of our innate human qualities, and rejoice in the fact that we benefit from the positive ones.