I have often wondered what turns a "survivor" into either a compassionate human or a perpetrator. My reasons for wanting to help people are many & varied.
There's guilt - I've had a crappy life & believe that I'm being punished for something bad I've done in a previous life so now I spend my spare time helping others in the hope that one day the punishment will stop.
More guilt -I believe I have a moral obligation to help others if I am able to.
Public service - Many people don't want to help a stranger because of fear or embarrassment. When they see me helping someone on the tram for instance, they can see for themselves how easy it is to do. Hopefully it gets them thinking.
Revenge - endeavouring to be a good person, being honest & developing integrity through my everyday actions is my "fluff you" to my mother. She never saw any value in doing something unless it benefitted her.
Pragmatism - if someone is in need of assistance & I'm willing & able to help, why wouldn't I lend a hand?
Selfishness - helping people makes me feel better about myself.
Sorrow - The world & the people in it are broken & I want to fix it.
When I was 7, I spotted a homeless man walking past our house. We 3 children were home alone as usual & the longer I stared at the man, the more I wanted to help him. He was wearing dirty clothes, had an unkempt beard & hair & was carrying a cloth bundle over his shoulder. He stared at the ground while he walked & he looked like the saddest person I had ever seen. I went outside to say hello & after much coaxing, managed to get him into the house. I remember making him some cheese sandwiches which he ate hungrily & was in the middle of making him some more when our parents came home.
The awful thing I remenber about that day was not only the man's embarassment at being asked to leave, it was the beating that my brothers suffered because of me. Even thought I told my parents that it was me who invited the man in, they blamed my brothers simply because they were older than me. It was terribly infair on them & I remember feeling so wretched while they were being punished.
Many things can shape a person but in my case I think I was just born with a strong sense of fairness & a desire to help people.