January 31, 2010

Think better of humans!

My idea of man has always been somewhat more positive than that of the many people I encounter. Most have resigned in the face of seeing business leaders corrupted while politicians are appealing continually to citizens' self interest when talking tax cuts. Even educational institutions promote themselves by bragging about how they give their graduates the best chances to come out ahead of others.

Selfishness seems to lie at the root of human behavior and yet I doubt this seeming no-brainer when I look around at the people in my immediate proximity. My friends and family and also wider social network is based on people helping each other out. There are connections made that often come about in conversations ("you know who could help you with that? My friend X. I'll give you his email" OR "well, you should have talked to me sooner, I have been doing this paper on exactly what you are starting to investigate.").

Sometimes I doubt whether my world is just too secluded and safe to be compared to the world average. There is always a chance you are naive and overly trusting. But then there are scientists that come to my help and I highly recommend you read this text by psychology professor Dacher Keltner. It might just give you back some hope in the human race :) Enjoy The Compassionate Instinct!

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