Paradox of Behavior

Jayson - Livermore, California
Entered on December 13, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: humanism
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Living and working in a university residence hall more commonly known as a dorm I get to see the best and worst of people. Many people see college students as trouble makers who just like to go out and get drunk and party all the time. Just like most common perceptions there is some truth to it, but what most people do not get the opportunity to see is all of the good college students have in them.

I have seen the same student go out to fraternities get so drunk they have no idea what happened the night before, then help organize and promote a thank you reception for firefighters who fought the fires that engulfed Southern California in October of 2007. On the topic of the fires, I had a resident who has been nothing but trouble since she moved in come and ask me how they could help the families affected by the fires. What causes people to behave in troublesome ways then exemplify selfless behavior I will never be able to explain, but what I can say is what I believe. My experiences have led me to believe that people are inherently good, they just some times make poor decisions.

I believe that deep down inside of everyone they have a desire to do what is right. That desire may get suppressed due to many different factors that exist in society, but it still exists.

Examples of peoples character go way beyond college residence halls, just look at the man in New York that jumped on front of a subway to save a child he had never met. Many people say just look at the news and all of the bad stuff that is being reported, but when the story is looked at further in many of those stories there are people putting others before themselves. For every one person who made a poor decision there are many police officers, firefighters, and paramedics also in the report. They are not looking for fame or glory they are just trying to serve others.

From my experience of living and working in a college residence hall, I have seen the best and worst behavior of college students. Due to this paradox I have learned not to look at people as bad, but to see their choices a less than desirable, and has led me to believe that people are deep down inside inherently good.