Author: Afra Faisal, Awareness Officer
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is. WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR OTHERS?” – Martin Luther King Jr.
During this COVID-19 pandemic everyone is suffering from their own hurdles and are trying hard to get a solution for themselves, and there are some who find their answers by helping others. Have you ever thought despite one’s own welfare which is clearly at stake, why do some people continue to share resources or risk exposure to the virus to help others? What do they achieve from sharing anything and everything they have? Many questions like these might cross your mind.
Being PROSOCIAL is the answer. It’s the kind of behavior where the desire to help others with no expectation of reward is highly shown. Humans are naturally prosocial, and it’s completely on one person’s nature whether to show it or not. Prosocial behavior might be driven by emotions rather than selfishness or societal pressures. There are 3 types of prosocial behaviors in people:
- Actively prosocial: they will continue to be what they are in pre-crisis, throughout the crisis and even post- crisis.
- Likely Act Prosocial: more focused on themselves, while caring little about what happens to others.
- Competitive Prosocial: they care how they are doing in relation to others and want to come on top.
WHY TO BE PROSOCIAL?
The answer to this would be to survive. Someone who understands the need to survive would understand the importance of all lives to survive in this evolutionary process of life, if not there would not be any space to be prosocial. Despite survival, prosocial behavior is for the following:
- To feel content and happy
- Alleviate anxiety, tension and fear
All these are EGOISTIC reasons (doing things for one’s self-image or self-recovery). Some are prosocial due to RECIPROCAL BENEFITS (doing something for someone so that some day the favor would be returned), and some are for the ALTRUISTIC reasons (performing actions purely out of empathy for another individual).
5 KEY THINGS FOR TAKING AN ACTION AS A PROSOCIAL HUMAN:
- Notice what is happening
- Interpret the event as an emergency
- Experience feelings of responsibility
- Believe that they have the skills to help
- Make a conscious choice to offer assistance.
HOW TO BE PROSOCIAL DURING COVID-19:
- Check on your neighbors, friends, relatives by calling or texting them to make sure they are doing okay. Also remember to ask if there is anything they need.
- Explore ways to connect and volunteer virtually and spread what you have found, leaving no one behind
- Give blood: as it is related to hospitals and hygiene, get in contact with the national blood bank and enquire the possibilities of donating blood. Remember 1 unit of blood, saves 3 lives.
- Make a donation: agreeing that you might be living on budget, with whatever you get monthly think of those who are living on daily wages who are struggling even more due to the pandemic, give whatever can be given, even if it equal to QR1. It need not be only currency, it can also be food equal to one meal, or grocery for a month. Make sure you donate not just locally but also to those at-most need internationally.
- Be a leader: if you are in a position of professional authority and you have the decision- making power to allow your team to work from home, make it happen. (remember not to burden them to work more than what they have to but make it more interactive and interesting)
Remember when you help the needy, the higher power of the universes helps you in other ways.
LET’S BE PROSOCIAL AND BREAK THE CHAIN