What is human behavior? How does human behavior influence our life and the environment?

by Shai

Human behavior in my own definition is simply the attitude of an individual towards living and non-living things. Each one of us has a unique behavior as we are born and raised in a different environment with different morals and values instilled to us as we grow up. As we grow up though, our behavior changes because we learn new things each day.

We all grew up hearing “like father like son” and “like mother like daughter” greets. It is because we all agree that our parents were our first educators and that our attitudes will reflect on how well we are brought up by our parents. Our attitudes will depend on how we were raised and guided as a child.

During our early stage, we learned through enculturation but as we grow up, we meet different people, visit different places and learned through our school instructors, we learn through acculturation also know as second-culture learning.

Acculturation happens when we get introduced in a new culture. For an instance, here in the Philippines. We were colonized by Spain for hundred years followed by Japan and the United States, so it is not surprising that we have adapted their culture and traditions somehow which is evident until now. This attitude is commonly known in the Philippines as ‘colonial mentality’. For example, some Filipinos chooses branded products over local products as buying branded products would make them feel superior to their own race. Some Filipino parents would also accustom their children to speak English at an early age which is not a bad thing unless the child has completely become unfamiliar to their native language. Our sense of patriotism is slowly vanishing due to the influences of our colonial masters and also to our desire for a much greener pasture which we believe cannot be found in our homeland but in thriving countries like the United States.

As I have mentioned above, human behavior is not just limited to living things but to non-living things as well. After discussing human behavior to human and our society, I will now discuss the behavior of man towards the environment. Climate change is viewed internationally as the “greatest collective challenge facing humankind today”. For me, the root cause of this unstoppable phenomenon is globalization.

Indeed, globalization is beneficial to us for modernization purposes but what’s at stake is our environment. Ever since each nation had become developed, their environment changes drastically as well. Trees in forests are cut down in exchange of building high rise establishments. Natural resources are being exploited by greedy businessmen who merely want to earn profit.

Globalization is not really a bad thing because we somehow need to be modernized. The problem with this is us, humans. Humans by nature tend to become selfish in order to survive. Oftentimes, we forget that we also need to take care of our environment not thinking negative effects if we keep on neglecting our environment. The effects of climate change are becoming more and more apparent today.

It really is much pleasant to live in the previous decades than today. Here in the Philippines, if you want to see clear rivers that can be bathed on, you have to travel to the province where there is no pollution. As a child, I used to hear lots of stories from my grandparents about how clean our city used to be. They would tell me that they used to swim, play and do the laundry in the river which for me is wonderful because I didn’t get to see that beautiful sight that they’re boasting. I grew up in Rizal, where I would always pass by Pasig River which for me as a child looks disgusting together with its foul smell.

It is really different in the city that in the province. In the city, we could really notice the huge impact of globalization in our environment. From the chemical products we use to the processed food we eat everyday. All these are harmful to us without us noticing that it is slowly giving us health problems. Nowadays, it is much pleasant to live in the province because it is less polluted. People could still enjoy the fresh and clean surroundings.

People before especially those in the province are much more disciplines than in the present because they were able to maintain their natural resources. They are really concerned in the environment and they live a simple life and they’re very much contented with it. They don’t need all the latest gadgets and technologies in their lives. Just being able to live simple in the province with their farms and backyard full of fruits and vegetables is okay with them. If only our mindset is the same as the people from the province.

Kaingin system or deforestation here in the Philippines is very rampant. Yes, there are advantages and disadvantages of deforestation. The residue from the burnt trees are a natural fertilizer but the most important disadvantage of it that we have to remember is that, it also contributes to soil erosion. There are more that 20 typhoons that hit Philippines each year. Usually, these typhoons are destructive and it really leaves our country devastated. Homes are destroyed and many people die from drowning. It wouldn’t have become worse if it wasn’t because our over exploitation of our natural resources.

Philippines has always been a typhoon prone area, but us locals, noticed that floods and landslides are more destructive now that before. There aren’t enough trees to absorb all the waters coming down from mountains which eventually flows to cities with small drainage system plus our rivers filled with garbage makes it even harder for the water to subside. What’s worse is that, the flood gets stagnant for weeks or sometimes even months. Since human behavior is shaped by our life experiences and environment, it is expected to still change or grow as the years pass by because there are so many things that we could still encounter overtime. Technology really does affect the way we think. We used to live a simple life and be contented about it but now, we couldn’t live a day without our smartphones. Let us remind ourselves that change is good, but it doesn’t mean that we have to use and abuse all our natural resources and for once not just think for ourselves but to the betterment of all as well.

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