Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Altruism - the selfish gene :)

Another wonderful finding.. This is one of my favourite topics and would love to debate about.
A biological background to this nature of human beings can be found in a book called "The selfish Gene" by Dr.Richard Dawkins. I recommend it for anyone interested in this department. It's a book for a novice and assumes very less biology or chemistry.

Now.. Story time ..

A reporter once asked a farmer to divulge the secret behind his corn, which won the state fair contest year after year. The farmer confessed it was all because he shared his seed with his neighbors.

"Why do you share your best seed corn with your neighbors when you're entering the same contest each year as well?" asked the reporter.

"Why sir," said the farmer, "didn't you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grew inferior corn, cross-pollination would steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbor do the same."

And so it is with other situations in our lives. Those who want to be successful must help their neighbors, friends, relatives to be successful.

Those who choose to live well must help others live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

This story exemplifies "altruism."

Altruism: Action that benefits another person, including self by comforting, helping, sharing, rescuing and cooperating. Acts of concern for other people

credits to VijayPN who blogs on sulekha.com