Many people have the belief that human interaction is driven by selfishness and greed. Maxims like “the survival of the fittest” and “it’s a dog-eat-dog world” have been deeply ingrained into the human psyche, especially in the West. However, scientists such as neuroscientist Jorge Moll have a different idea. They believe that human beings are actually driven by the need to take care of others as well as themselves. Even though we may want to believe that we are driven by our own interest to succeed in life, it is being considered that what may actually drive us is a desire to contribute to our world; to leave it a better place then it was when we arrived (

Take for instance, a supermodel by the name of Petra Nemcova. Nemcova took a vacation with her fiance to Thailand right in the middle of a tsunami, a tsunami in which her fiance died and she suffered tremendous injuries. After she healed, she went back to Thailand to do what she could to help out, and also started a foundation to help disaster relief victims. She could have easily stayed away and kept recuperating, but she felt the need to help out in a situation that hit her specifically. One could infer that a disaster has to hit us personally in order for us to understand how lucky we truly are, and how much worse it can be for other people, check also Jorge’s analysis.

Scientist Jorge Moll, neuroscientist and president of the D’Or Institute for Research and Education in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, has “cracked the code” on why this type of behavior exists in human beings (Medicaldailytimes). Moll, along with fellow scientist Jordan Grafman, had discovered that when people give, a part of the brain which also activates for food or sex is stimulated. This part of the brain, known as the anterior prefrontal cortex, lights up the most the more people give their time and money to causes that are important to them. It has allowed the two men to conclude that being generous is as pre-wired into humanity as hunger, thirst, or the need for sex.


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