Humans need the herd, the group, the tribe, the clan, or whatever you call your greater society, not only to survive but to live meaningful lives.
People are good and kindness is a thing, and so on and so forth, and I’m sure some people are getting tired of me saying stuff like this (fair warning - no plans to stop).
How can we explain the physical and emotional damage one person can do to another let alone to an entire people as we’ve done in our past as a species, and then still fit it into this framework of a preset nature imprinted into our genes?
Had the person I was been deleted and written over by this callous, often angry man, who hid in his house drinking too much when not wearing a uniform and being an asshole to the world at large?
This is, very frankly, what I was trying to say originally in The Nature of Beauty.
Human beings are born with an innate sense of caring for one another, whether because of a very basic need for social interaction and reliance on the group as a whole, or just the plain innocence of childhood before it’s ripped asunder by life in general.
You feel good so you smile. There’s an existing and well-documented cause and effect relationship that nobody ever thinks might work in the other direction, and yet the two aspects of the thing are so closely related that apparently it does.
A good friend of mine, when discussing this with me, has called kindness a muscular strength, powerful, not a weakness in any sense and one of the most intrinsic pillars of our humanity.