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Alexis N.

Sia 2016-46051

A Reaction Paper on Tragedy of the Commons

Integrity is choosing your thoughts and actions based on values rather than personal gain . It is, in

a way, being selfless. It is choosing what is right, good and moral, instead of choosing to benefit one’s self.

We are left with a choice of benefitting one or benefitting all.

The world is rich in resources and we are free to use them because we inhabit Earth . Just like in

the Tragedy of Commons, the world is our area of land and we, inhabitants of Earth, are the commons.

However, human beings express sentiments differently. Some of us would be willing to share but some of

us tend to be greedy, more so with how much we can possess in an instant . I imagined the world and its

first inhabitants. The resources are theirs to keep and use. But as the population grows, the more that the
first inhabitants would have to share their resources which means each of them would get less because
they have to share it with the growing population. Having less of what you already have affects our

sentiments towards the situation. Humans will have more demands and naturally, our greediness would

eventually come out. There is definitely an inverse relationship of population and resources . As the

population grows, resources will decrease, however, if the population is less, there are more resources


It is amazing how accurate Tragedy of the Commons is . We may not notice it now, but once you

step out of the situation and look at the bigger picture, you will observe how human kind and its behavior is

precisely described in the reading. It made me reflect greatly on what is happening to the world right now .

Why is it such a big deal for us to have more? Why is it that some people have more , and some people

have less if we were meant to share? So many questions and opinions were going on in my mind . There

are people suffering because of the lack of resources, but if you think about it, if those who have more

share their resources to those who have less or if we all just equally divided all of the resources we have ,

would anyone be suffering right now? However, it is true that this problem isn’t just from human to human.

It involves everything that exists in the world. It is also about the environment, the animals, our water

resources, land resources, etc. Why is it that when we do an action, it is not considered selfish for as long
as it is not affecting a human being? When someone has trash and chooses to throw it on the street because
there is no trash bin around, why is it that the person doesn’t feel guilty at all? The action of the person

badly affects the environment. Why is it that there is only guilt when an action done affects a person?
I feel that most human beings look only after his or her own interest , and most of the time never

seeking out what’s best for the whole. If you don’t want to sacrifice your share of what you own , it is not

hard to look for a solution that will benefit both you and the whole group. Why is it that humans only think

of the present? You may have it all now, but what happens if you ran out? You’ll keep looking for more and

that’s why people have less of what they should really have . Isn’t it better to be selfless for once because

in the long run, it will benefit you more, rather than having everything temporarily but in the long run , will

turn out to be disadvantageous to you and everyone else involved? However , I’m pretty sure that not
everyone is aware of the situation going on because they’re too immersed into the resources they’ve
hoarded for themselves instead of sharing.

In my opinion and in all honesty, I don’t think we will ever get out of this tragedy. Imagine being

100 people in a group, but only 99 people choose to share, and 1 person decides to have more than what

the other 99 people have, it is not fair. It is not just. Because even if majority of the people decide to share

but there is still a group that chooses to be greedy and hoard all of the resources, there will be imbalance.

It will create chaos because I believe it is also a domino effect. If a person decides to have more, then why

can’t I have more too? Until everyone else will want to have more and more. However, if you think about

it, being in the middle of this tragedy already, how do we undo this? How can we equally share everything?

Can anyone really keep tract of how much each person has? Even I , myself, don’t know where to start.
Will we ever get out of this tragedy?