What Does It Mean to Be a Good Person

1568 words 7 pages
Modern America and the Diminishing Individual

In his essay “Modern America and the Diminishing Individual”, Peter Cooper talks about how today there is an absence of genuine compassion for one another. Copper opens his essay by stating “The impudence, indifference, self-centeredness, evidenced by some Americans are symptomatic of contemporary national malaise” (70). Which basically means that our attitude for “self” is like a sickness in our society today. He goes on to say “Individual significance in society commonly diminishes in direct proportion to the number of people” (70). He expresses that the reason for this being is that “Human behavior deteriorates when many people are crowded closely together, contending elbow to
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Using someone is the easiest way to get these things. Copper says that “Regarding material goods, he or she who finishes the game with the most toys wins (72).” We feel as though having more things to show off to the world, gives us more acceptance from it. This gives us the perception that we are wealthy or better off when we obtain a lot of materialistic things. We go through extensive lengths to obtain these things, even if it means using people. For example, a guy has a crush on a girl so he spoils her; he buys her so many fancy and expensive gifts, so in return she goes out with him. She may not genuinely like him for him but, she finds herself blinded by what he can do for her and really does not like him as a person. We do it so subtly that we have developed this as a sort of a norm and may not really realize what are doing is in fact wrong. To classify how you interact with people based off of what they can do for you, is a pretty messed up way to live. You never develop relationships with true undeniable value; rather it is this shallow, fake engagement between two human beings.
In actuality, we are all often times guilty of using people; one place in particular is at your work place. No matter what job you have many people use people to get to the next level at their various jobs. The whole purpose of working is to move up in


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