Quick fact: Researchers at Berkeley refer to Darwin’s work as “survival of the kindest.”
Darwin believed that charity evolved to ensure the survival of family and build prosperous communities. The idea of helping family seems instinctive, but the argument for community is that individuals benefit from a stimulating, creative and progressive environment. People reach their full potential when their community inspires and motivates them to fully develop as individuals.
Our inclination for altruism is so engrained that we’re capable of becoming addicted to the good feeling it provides. Jordan Grafman, neuroscientist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, published a study confirming that philanthropy provides the same high as eating chocolate cake, having great sex, or winning at the blackjack table. Philanthropy just feels that good.
My hands spent today crafting a paper wreath for the holidays, but my mind was working overtime to plan a fun random act of happiness for tomorrow. The wreath is below, and I’ll share my super silly experiment with you right after it happens (as always):