Compassion, not fitness, is key to survival

Sympathy will have been increased through natural selection,” Darwin wrote in The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, “for those communities which include the greatest number of the most sympathetic members, would flourish best, and rear the greatest number of offspring.”


In other words, when it comes to durability, compassion is king.

For Emma Seppala, compassion is also the focus of her work as the associate director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, an organization devoted to promoting compassion within individuals and society through research, scientific collaboration and academic conferences.