This I Believe
I was raised in a house with both of my parents, my two brothers and my sister. When I say something or do something, I not only have to consider my own feelings but the feelings of others. It took me years to figure out how to make decisions that were not only good for myself, but were good for everyone that lived around me.
When I was little, I was a very difficult child. I fought my parents, slapped my Grandma, and punched my friends. I sprayed Windex in my brother’s eyes, I punched his tooth out, and I gave him stitches by pushing him into the pool. I had quite a personality. I was often told, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” and “You need to think about your actions before you do them!” When I did all those things, I was trying to make a point or get something that I wanted. This only benefited me. It’s not until now that I realized that my words and actions were an example of Egoism. I only looked out for myself and didn’t look out or care for others.
I have realized that in a larger family, it is important to look and act through the moral lens of Utilitarianism. You have to think and act in order to benefit everyone in the family. If you don’t there is going to be major conflict within the family, which there is a lot of.
My brother who is a typical, 15 year old boy is very egotistical. He cares for himself the majority of the time, and is only nice and caring when he wants something from someone. This is very hard on the rest of the family. My siblings and I often find ourselves frustrated at him because he has made my parents upset or he has hurt my little brother. He has yet to learn that it is important think as a Utilitarian.
Thinking as a Utilitarian is an important part of being in a family. Your actions and words truly have an affect on the people, especially the younger ones. I have tried to think this same way with my friends, and have found it to be very helpful when trying to make decisions. I hope that I can take this knowledge and apply it to the rest of decision-making days.
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