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November 30, 2010 10:53pm
Posted in: Posts

The survival of the fittest might not mean what we assume it does. The Darwinian idea of natural selection posits that weak species die out while those with advantageous traits persist, which has given us our current selection of flora and fauna worldwide. But a new USA Today article by noted aging journalist Gail Sheehy suggests that empathy itself might be one of the traits that allows people to thrive.

As Sheehy notes, a recent study at SUNY-Stonybrook found that older adults in a caregiver role were more likely to live longer than peers without someone to take care of. Moreover, Darwin himself argued it was our ability to get along with each other, form cities and develop civilization that has given us such significant advantage over animals. After all, one person is pretty poor at fighting a lion or catching a wildebeest, but 30 can do it just fine. And companies can extend their lives just as readily as people can. The only way for that instinct to get along to be triggered is in-person, up-close and personal. So enjoy your longer life, and remember who’s counting on your business.

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