Friday, 6 September 2013

Reciprocal Altruism and Value of Interdependence - Part I

Human beings are hailed as social animals whose existence is based on interdependence, mutual understanding and willingness to serve for the purpose of well being of the society. Lots of studies have been done on whether it is the innate urge of the human being that leads to the social life or it is the result of the compulsion from the external world. Some argue that it is the blend of both the genetic factors and social values that lead to attachment.

On the other hand the fact remains that values of individualism and principles of competition for individual success and affluence have sabotaged value of interdependence and thereby the significance of community life. Theories of self-sufficiency, competition and securing affluent life has paved the way for a new order of life. The promotion of profit based initiatives and human activities have relegated the human values such as sharing, interdependence, and ultimately the virtue of social responsibility to the secondary position.

Before we become the prey to narcissism and cynicism we should explore the possibilities of reciprocal altruism and value of interdependence. There are plenty of occasions in life that we can exhibit our awareness about the fact that we are not mere isolated individuals. Such awareness should lead to actions that reflect the greater values of being social in our day to day life. Let us not expect to begin this attitude from the other end but from within ourselves.  It is the way we love others, contribute for the common good and grow upward; a way how a cohesive society emerges in spite of all the issues that hampers the social life.

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