Based in New York, New York, JPIA is dedicated to giving a voice to students of various disciplines and encouraging debate.

Commending the Searchers of the Washington Mudslide and MH370

I would like to take a moment to commend human willpower and compassion.

The last few weeks have been marred by several tragedies, notably the mudslide in Washington State and the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. In the midst of these horrific events, humans cannot help but cling onto the slightest sliver of hope.

Rescue efforts for both misfortunes have been valiant and kind. Australia’s prime minister promises that he will not end the search for the plane or possible survivors until answers have been found. Mudslide searchers are still trekking difficult terrain to find the thirty remaining missing people.

As a politics and economics major, the world seems to be a distrustful and hopeless place, with corruption evident in every level of the public and private sectors. However, despite my self-proclaimed cynicism, I still believe in true human benevolence, as exhibited by the persistent searchers of the mudslide and plane disappearance.

The key is employing a Rousseauian view of ourselves, rather than simply believing we are all inherently “tainted.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau believed we are all good at heart, but the functions of society force us to be deceitful, dishonest, and sly. When temptations such as greed, power, success, and money are eliminated from the equation, humans really are good. The people searching for survivors have been persistent, even though most of them are not even directly affected by the tragedies. Every country involved in the MH370 search has contributed effort and aid although many of them are not involved at all.

Taking away our temptations, we are all good. As idealistic as it sounds, if we all resisted our temptations, there would be few problems, if any. Save for a few war fanatics or mentally unstable people in our society, I suspect many of you would like a world with little conflict. This is a message I hope resounds well, from now, when you want to copy answers from someone else’s test until later in the future, when you may have a risky opportunity to rob hundreds of people of their life savings. Remember, you are intrinsically better than that.

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