Is compassion an evolutionary trait?

If Charles Darwin and the Dalai Lama could chat, they would agree on why humans are compassionate, psychologist Paul Eckman says. "We are compelled to relieve the sufferings of another, in order that our own painful feelings may be at the same time relieved," Darwin wrote.

The Dalai Lama says "the seed of compassion" is the discomfort we experience when we see someone suffering. "We are thus impelled to relieve the suffering of another so that our own painful suffering may be relieved."

Divine Retribution: A Different Kind of Protest

by Tom Williams

Tom Williams and son at the “I Have a Dream” marker

Editor’s note: This is the text of a presentation made at the Louisville Intergovernmental Black History Committee in Louisville, Kentucky USA on January 13, 2004 by attorney Tom Williams. Tom’s comments illustrate the evolution of the response to hatred toward a more compassionate and workable form of engagement.


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