Sunday, January 07, 2007

Rethinking Human Nature

In the journey to write Hope's Edge, my mom and I thought a lot about human nature: Are we human beings just the selfish, accumulators we're taught to believe we are, all just hungering for more money and more things; or, are we by nature community-focused and caring? As we traveled around the globe, from the foothills of the Himalayas to the plains of Brazil, we met incredible people whose lives were dedicated to improving the fates of their communities. The more people we met the more we started to believe that these folks aren't the anomaly; they are merely expressing our innate desire to be connected in community. It turns out cutting edge neurological, anthropological, and psychological research is backing up our hunch. In this New York Times article my friend, the journalist Cara Buckley, sums up the research in an attempt to explain the actions of this week's subway hero: "Why Our Hero Leapt Onto the Tracks and We Might Not." --Anna