SYNC AND SWIM TOGETHER

Who has a better chance of survival — the most selfish or the least selfish? What is the better modus operandi for survival — combat or networking, competition or cooperation? Are the surviving organisms superior to those that have gone extinct? Is the present generation, in some way, better than the past generation? Evolution has given myriad interpretations to understand these questions. According to one view, evolution sees natural selection as shaping organisms to fit their environment. Another view claims that living things alter their world to suit their needs. In nature, survival is based on adaptability, connectivity, communication, and cooperation. In other words, it is the whole ecosystem that has to evolve. One of the messages is ‘if you want to succeed, others must succeed as well’. According to an interpretation, the driving force of evolution is not to be found in the chance events of random mutations, but in life’s inherent tendency to create novelty, in the spontaneous emergence of increasing complexity and order. This view recognizes the vital importance of cooperation in the evolutionary process. Some think that “life did not take over the globe by combat, but by networking”. Combat happens, because in some situations, combat is necessary. In other words, both competitive and cooperative spirits must co-exist for healthy evolution. Competition and cooperation are essential, as growth and decay are, for our existence and continuance. Compete and when that is over, sync and swim together. “You don’t have to be perfectly adapted to survive; you just have to be as well adapted as your competitors.” We are like chameleons who instinctively and unintentionally change how we behave, based on our surroundings. Selfishness alone can never be beneficial but in the presence of goodness, it can be. A person of competitive spirits likes to be surrounded by the competent. That is why persons with a nose for talent, hire really smart people, often smarter than themselves. Smartness is good, but the problem is most people think of themselves as generous, kind, friendly, and honest, more than what they are. Often this attitude helps if one knows where to draw the line.

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© 2017 by Dr Purnendu Ghosh