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Darwin Said Collaborate

Posted on May 10, 2019
By Paul Born

plant through rocksFor those of you who have read my book Deepening Community – Finding Joy together in Chaotic Times you might love to know you can sign up for a weekly inspiration at

Last week I got this fascinating gem which is a total rethinking of survival of the fittest thinking. Charles Darwin is known for his “survival of the fittest” theory. The common description is that the most able animals will continue to evolve, while weaker species will be eliminated over time. This interpretation has been used to justify what some call a “dog eat dog” world.

The biggest dog, the most aggressive dog, will always get what it wants, and the others will get what is left over. This has so deeply entered the ethos of our culture that we have adopted competition as the core value by which we live and the GDP as the measure of our success.

What is most often overlooked is Darwin’s work in his later years, as he observed not only competition but also cooperation in animals. As Jeremy Rifkin observes in his book The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis, “Darwin came to believe that survival of the fittest is as much about cooperation, symbiosis, and reciprocity as it is about individual competition and that the most fit are just as likely to enter in cooperative bonds with their fellows.” Taking care of one another and looking out for one another has been an evolutionary prerequisite. It is why we have survived.

This week, observe the many ways we, as humans, cooperate and care for one another. You might be surprised what you notice!
Enjoy and when you get a chance go to where you find some great videos and lots of free to download writing (including some of my poetry on community).

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Paul Born, Collaboration, Cities Deepening Community

Paul Born

By Paul Born

Paul Born grew up as the son of Mennonite refugees. This is what has made him deeply curious about and engaged in ideas that cause people to work together for the common good. Paul is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Tamarack Institute and the Founder and Director of Vibrant Communities. He is the author of four books, including two Canadian best sellers. Paul is a global faculty member of the Asset Based Community Development Institute (ABCD) and a senior fellow of Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social innovators.

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