For this assignment your challenge will be to live each minute of one day in as compassionate a way as possible. In other words, for a full day you should do your best to help other people in need, to be considerate and respectful, and to avoid causing harm to any living being.
When carrying out this assignment, leave no behavior unexamined — from watching TV to eating lunch to decisions about giving time or money to others. That is, don’t limit yourself to simply holding the door open for a stranger or petting a lonely dog; think about all the unnecessary suffering in the world, and strive for the greatest impact and deepest level of compassion without being phony or insincere. It is up to you to define what compassion is and to decide how best to realize it.
If you are already quite compassionate, try being compassionate toward groups you don’t often focus on, and even if your actions don’t differ much from how you normally behave, be sure to carefully observe and analyze what transpires during the experience. If outside events make it difficult for you to participate on the designated day, or if you feel dissatisfied with your performance of the assignment, feel free to repeat the exercise on a later day.
Note: To minimize any bias in social reactions, it is best if you do not tell others about the class assignment.
You must turn in a social psychological analysis of what the day was like. Some sample questions to address include: How did you define compassion, and who were the recipients of your efforts? What are the psychological costs and benefits of behaving compassionately? In your view, do the benefits outweigh the costs? How did others respond to your compassion? Do you think they noticed a difference in your behavior? What attributions did people make for your behavior, and why?
This essay should be 3-4 pages of text, plus a title page and reference page. All papers should be in proper APA format. Please remember proper in-text citations.