When many people think about Darwin’s theory of evolution and survival of the fittest, they assume that the competition to pass on genes is what defines human beings, and that that competitive impulse makes us ruthless at our core. What’s forgotten in that thought process is that humans have to not only pass on our genes, but also ensure our lineage by caring for our offspring – and that care makes us compassionate, rather than ruthless, at heart.
In this video, UC Berkeley psychology professor Dacher Keltner explains how and why humans are hardwired to be kind, compassionate, generous, and sacrificing. He also explains research he’s done that shows that wealth produces a compassion deficit that is physiologically measurable, and why that results in communities in poverty that are extremely strong in terms of communal care, generosity, and empathy.
What a wonderful way to end the year and start the new! Despite immense suffering, humans always pull through to help each other.
Original by Rebecca Vipond Brink