Tuesday, April 7, 2009

PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR....IT JUST MEANS "BEING NICE"

In my Social Psychology class this week, we're discussing "prosocial behavior", which is a fancy word for compassion. There are typically five steps that an individual quickly goes through before rendering "prosocial behavior" to a stranger. I address them later in this post. We were asked to write about a time when we, or someone we knew, rendered "prosocial behavior" and then to enumerate the five steps. So, I did....thought I would share it here...

MAIN DISCUSSION POST: What follows is an example of prosocial behavior that occurred in Fallbrook, California in a back, winding road. A young mother with a child in a car seat were traveling down the road. The day was hot. The young mother had the air conditioning up so she and her daughter could be comfortable. At the side of the road, a man of about 60 years of age was walking. He appeared to be Hispanic. This is very common in this area of agriculture. His skin was very weathered. He was obviously tired, heated, and fatigued. The young woman pulled her car over, opened her door and leaned out (without actually stepping away from her car-given her daughter being in the back seat) and offered the gentleman a large bottle of unopened, chilled water. This young mother, who was fair-skinned, light-eyed and very blond, spoke fluent Spanish and addressed this man with great respect. He accepted the water gratefully and they each went on their separate ways.

To summarize the five steps and customize them to this particular situation:
1. This young woman noticed that something unusual was happening because an elderly gentleman was walking along the side of a busy road in a less-than-wise manner.
2. She correctly interpreted that there was a need-that perhaps he was dehydrated.
3. She discerned that no one else was going to/or was available to help him.
4. She also correctly discerned that she knew his language and that she had water available; therefore she could render the service that was immediately needed.
5. She therefore made the final decision to pull over and actually perform the necessary service.

P.S. I know about this because it was my daughter, Emily. This is not unusual for her. She perfected her Spanish when she served a full-time compassionate-service mission in Arizona for our Church when she was 21. The rest of the story is that she could tell from the man's appearance that he was of an age where others would be retiring...and he was still working far too hard for his body and his health to sustain him (from his appearance)....also, after she pulled away, her daughter in the back seat totally threw up over everything and she had NO WATER whatsoever...she laughed and cried all the way back to her house because she wouldn't have traded her situation for anything in the world-she was going home to a clean house with clean water and everything she needed to care for her child....she had perspective and sometimes that's the best gift of all.

7 comments:

ennbee said...

"PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR...IT JUST MEANS "BEING EMILY"

The Katzbox said...

Ain'that the truth...or being Abby...or Eli...or Nancy...or Liz...or Adam...or TT...or Diane...or any number of good people we know....I'd better stop....I'm going to leave out incredible people that I know....

Diane said...

I love my friend, Deb. And her chillin's. that's fo sho.

The Katzbox said...

And there a "good folk" right there...

Em Dog said...

Oh, my word! I haven't been very good about reading/commenting/updating blogs lately and WOW! This was such a nice treat! Thanks, mom. .. you have a way of making me feel pretty darn spectacular. I love you! And, when you're old and working and should be retired, I will be sure to give you a bottle of water, too. :)

The Katzbox said...

Would you also be kind enough slow the car down long enough so I could jump in?....thx....

Diane said...

Hey, Miss Em...
I'm old and working...and should be retired. And darn thirsty, too, now that I think of it.
Thank goodness for you!