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Reading: Do Unto Others: Extraordinary Acts of Ordinary People


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Do Unto Others: Extraordinary Acts of Ordinary People


Robert N. Kraft

Otterbein College, US
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In short, altruistic behavior is voluntary, unrewarded helping of another, with heroic altruism including a high degree of risk or self-sacrifice. Do Unto Others tells us that altruism begins in infancy as an innate predisposition and is nurtured in a healthy relationship with one’s parents. The concentric influences of peers, school, community, and society reinforce and expand the young person’s altruistic qualities, which can then become internalized “normocentric” values. To realize the force of these normocentric values, consider the reaction of two communities to the treatment of Ryan White, the courageous teenager who contracted AIDS from a transfusion of blood in the mid-1980s. When his disease became known, Ryan’s home town of Kokomo, Indiana ostracized him. Students harassed him in the hallways and on the sidewalks, parents withdrew their children from school, and school officials barred him from attending classes. Ultimately, Ryan left Kokomo and moved to Cicero, Indiana, where the townspeople and the students and teachers in his high school welcomed him and his family warmly.

How to Cite: Kraft, R.N., 2005. Do Unto Others: Extraordinary Acts of Ordinary People. Journal of Hate Studies, 4(1), pp.153–157. DOI:
Published on 01 Jan 2005.


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