GRE Issue Essay 85
People’s attitudes are determined more by their immediate situation or surroundings than by any internal characteristic.
It is true that immediate situations do affect people’s attitudes; however, you cannot ignore the effect of internal characteristics. A person can have different attitudes in different situations. People live in societies and their actions are influenced by the happenings in their immediate societies. Sometimes people do not make decisions only by their immediate surroundings. Their intrinsic characteristic also is a very important determinant. For example, if a person has a strong sense of sympathy for homeless people, he may propose to set up a home for these destitute people. Many people make charitable hospitals without any selfish thinking. Hence, people’s altitudes are also decided by people’s internal characteristic like the way they think about the world, dispositions, and their tempers. We cannot give more importance to any one. Both the things play a role in determining people’s attitudes.
Immediate surroundings are also very important in determining people’s altitudes. When thinking of an issue, whether a social problem or a phenomena or a personal issue, a person’s attitude is greatly affected by his positions in the society. People usually do no take decisions without thinking about their positions and status in the society. For example, when we choose our occupation, we probably will do a research on the different aspects like salary level and working environment among the companies. These are the outer factors that affect our decision. What we consider most is whether we are able to do the job asked by the respective company and we are very likely to choose the job of the company accordingly to our ability to do that job that is the inner ability.
Internal characteristic and surroundings together affect our attitudes. When a child comes in this world, he inherits some genetic characteristics from his parents. These are nothing but inner characteristic of that person. Through the child’s activities, we can predict that he is like his father or mother since his parents also possess habits similar to the child. However, the environment where the child grows up also affects his attitude towards life. If a child grows up in surroundings of criminals then he might also develop attitude of a criminal since after doing a crime he will get appreciation from his parents rather than reprimand. Such environment will promote him to become a criminal or a gangster. The behavior of a person is definitely determined by good or bad surroundings.
For example, Mother Teresa is considered an angel. Mother Teresa’s family was a devoted catholic family. It was her family’s generosity, care for the poor and the less fortunate that made a great impact on young Mother Teresa’s life. She made up her mind to help poor and needy people when she was just a child of 12 years. She dedicated every day of her adult life caring for the dying, the cripple, the mentally ill, and the unwanted people.
As we grow, our good and bad experiences in life also affect our behavior and attitudes towards others. However, our internal characteristics remain the same. A good person cannot behave badly with anybody after a certain level. The internal characteristics contribute to develop the attitude of a person. Additionally, in the long run, as the situations he faces and the surroundings he interacts with change, his attitude becomes an outcome of that environment. In sum, people’s attitudes are determined by internal characteristics and external environment almost equally well.