The Survival of the Kindest

This morning I woke up to a very interesting CBC audio podcast about goodness, compassion, empathy, etc., entitled “The Survival of the Kindest”.   I highly recommend it. Dacher Keltner poses questions such as: Are we hardwired to do good and think of others? What role to playfulness and teasing play in our lives? Could it be that good guys really finish first?

Dacher Keltner is a professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and Co-Director of the Greater Good Science Centre at UC Berkeley.

Professor Keltner’s studies of human emotion seem to turn the Hobbesian view of human nature – that life is nasty, brutish, and short – on its head. Keltner says we only need to look at emotions such as compassion, awe, and embarrassment, to see that humans are wired to be good. He also suggests that those positive emotions are designed by evolution to ensure the survival of our communities, and of our species. Dacher Keltner’s book, Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life, is published by W.W. Norton and Company.

To me, this touches on Kingdom of God stuff. It backs up the idea that what Jesus talked about when he described living in the Kingdom/Dream/Rhythm of God….(living in grace/love/patience/forgiveness/kindness/beauty/healing/wholeness/….it really is the best way of being a human being.

David Brazzeal