BP #5 Social Harm

Many teenagers are coming into their own as they continue to grow up. They are feeling the pressures of society, which is leading many teenagers into the pitfalls of depression and anxiety. David S. Yeager, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Texas, has been looking for ways to help these teens cope with social stress.  His work was that at the beginning of each school year, he had these kids work on a reading and writing exercise, which buried home a message of: people can change.  The students that completed the exercise had lower stress levels and also had more confidence in coping with social issues. The message is important because helping kids understand that people change in life is a big step in dealing with social problems. People do mellow out, and aren’t as cruel as time goes on in life, and you can change into whatever you want to be that will make you feel more confident as a person.

Inflicting social harm on another person is an example of The Social Contract. We have set in place mutual agreements in this society that inflicting social harm on another person is how not to act. Thomas Hobbes would say that we cannot have perfect or radical freedom with the impediments of social harm towards each other.  In order to have liberty, we must be free of impediments to doing what we want.  If other people are knocking us down for who we are as teenagers, then how can we possibly do what we want?  But luckily we can change if we so choose and that is where the Law of Nature comes in. This law tells us that it is a rational rule of nature that we are forbidden to do anything destructive to our lives. If we give in to the social pressures of society and change into what others want, we are losing our freedom as who we are, and we are doing destruction to our own life because it losing authenticity.


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