Is ‘altruism’ still a traditional virtue in modern American culture? essay sample



Trough the transition to modern practical values of entrepreneurship and self-discipline, Western people seem to pay less attention to the fundamental virtues such as altruism and moral duty. Some sociologists suppose that ignoring principles of altruism, societies are likely to end up in some form of decay.

Altruism has always been immanent to most societies around the world as it provides the link which makes social groups coherent in solving their problems. Selfish individuals do not care about the well-being of the others, consequently, it would be impossible to create a powerful social unity without people who help their equals in achieving common objectives.

Taking into account its essential nature, we may assume that altruism has never ceased to remain a traditional value to numerous cultures, and modern American culture is not an exception. Altruistic views are strongly promoted by the religion which is still strong in the US as compared to Europe, for example. School curricula obviously contain social science which makes students aware of the way in which their society is functioning. But, which is more important, American parents still teach their little kids that helping fellows they induce people to act the same way in return.

The most efficient way of teaching kids to be altruistic is parents acting mercifully themselves. Providing help to the friends who ask for help or giving some change to the homeless in the streets, people show that the true value of life is not stocking wealth in one’s own pocket. It is contributing to the family, friends, even unknown people. Such small contributions can mean nothing to the person who gives but they are definitely substantial to those who receive.

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